John Tortorella To Miss NHL All-Star Game To Care For Ailing Dog

John Tortorella Takes Leave from Blue Jackets: Latest Details and Reaction

John Tortorella Takes Leave from Blue Jackets: Latest Details and Reaction

Tortorella also was not with the Blue Jackets for their final game before the All-Star break, a 4-3 loss at the Nashville Predators.

The NHL announced the move on Saturday, two days after Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella announced that he had returned to OH because of a family emergency. Today, Tortorella clarified that everyone was okay, and gave his reason: his son's dog is sick. As it turns out, one of his five dogs is on their way out and he concluded that family comes first.

"I needed to see this through", Tortorella said.

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In the statement, Tortorella said "This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I".

On Friday, Tortorella cleared up any confusion around the family matter, telling The Columbus Dispatch that he wants to be there for the family's ailing 10-year-old pit bull Emma. "But this absolutely is not an emergency". Despite his absence, Tortella told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that the situation is not an emergency.

Tortorella was to coach the Metropolitan Division team in Sunday's All-Star Game at Los Angeles. Wayne Gretzky will fill in for Tortorella behind the bench for the All-Star Game, coaching the Metropolitan Division.

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