LOS ANGELES (AP) — The AP is reporting Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella will miss the NHL All-Star Game because a pit bull belonging to his son, Nick, is ailing.
Tortorella earned the chance to coach the Metropolitan Division team during the Blue Jackets’ remarkable unbeaten run. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will coach at the All-Star Game, according to NHL.com. Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player.
Tortorella also missed the Jackets’ Thursday night game. Assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw are filling in until Tortorella returns.
“I appreciate everyone who has reached out to me this evening with their concerns about my family,” Tortorella said in a statement Thursday night. “My family is fine. We are just dealing with a situation that is personal and very important to us, but I will leave it at that. I’ll be back with the team very soon.”
Nick Tortorella is a member of the U.S. Army 75th Ranger Regiment, according to an NHL.com article.