“It makes me sick,” John Tortorella SHREDS NHL for being ‘no-hit league’ following penalty given to Garnet Hathaway, calls hit ‘a lost art’

Flyers coach John Tortorella rips the league after they penalize Garnet Hathaway for hitting Devils’ D-man Luke Hughes during on-ice buzz.

“It makes me sick,” John Tortorella SHREDS NHL for being ‘no-hit league’ following penalty given to Garnet Hathaway, calls hit ‘a lost art’

John Tortorella [Photo Credit - YahooSports.com]

The game of ice hockey has come a long way in changing and adding new styles of play on the ice. One of the most debated changes has been the hit’s rule during on-ice battles. While some have voiced out against it time and again, the latest person to partake in the debate has been Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella.

Torts blasted National Hockey League for being soft on hits and “turn this league into a no-hit league”. His statement came after forward Garnet Hathaway was penalized for hitting Detroit Red Wings defenceman Luck Hughes in the team’s 3-4 OT loss.


During the game, Hathaway was seen chasing Hughes for the puck which was expected to be icing, but the linesman blew the whistle too late. During the waited seconds, Garnet Hathaway had already made contact with Luke Hughes that nearly put the rookie in the third row of the Wells Fargo Center.

Hughes was immediately ushered to the locker room. Following the incident, the officials delivered a 5-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Later Hughes returned to on ice and even scored the OT win against the Flyers. John Tortorella was incredibly upset with the call and ripped the NHL for the penalty.

“A mistake was made last night, and what bothers me is we had to suffer for that mistake - losing a player. There is nothing wrong with the play; it shouldn’t even have been a penalty…It makes me sick.”
John Tortorella as per HockeyFeed.

Head coach John Tortorella furious over NHL’s call on Garnet Hathaway

While Flyers head coach John Tortorella was furious over the NHL’s call, he still expressed relief to hear the young player is fine despite getting heavily hit on by Garnet Hathaway. While he is concerned for a player’s safety, he also can’t let go of how the league has gotten soft on hit calls.

John Tortorella [Photo Credit - YahooSports.com]
John Tortorella [Photo Credit – YahooSports.com]

He put emphasis on how the league should be teaching the players to take hits rather than being hurt with serious consequences. He stated that taking hits and learning how to protect and defend oneself is also an art an NHLer should have. 

“I’m glad the kid isn’t hurt…Our players in this league do not put enough emphasis on making sure you’re protecting yourself from hits like that, making sure you absorb hits like that…”

Player safety has always been the most important part of the league, especially since Adam Johnson’s untimely death after getting his neck sliced by Matt Petgrave’s skate blade. The whole hockey world was in shock when the incident happened and many players have given neck gears a try to keep themselves safe.

Just like the players themselves, the league is now focusing on the safety of players ever so crucially. While the debate on hits is going on, it’s also important for the players to learn a proper way to keep themselves from getting hurt and to absorb the hits, as Torts stated.


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