Torts threw a water bottle into the crowd after he apparently got doused in some kind of liquid (probably beer). The NHL is saying Torts squirted a fan with water before he himself got doused.
He then grabbed a stick and tried jousting with an unruly Washington chap who probably wasn't using the Queen's English at the time.
Torts will miss Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden.
Here's the NHL's official release. I have to get back to writing basketball.
The National Hockey League announced today that New York Rangers coach John Tortorella has been suspended for one game
for squirting a fan with water and throwing a water bottle that struck a
fan during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Series with the
Washington Capitals Apr. 24 in Washington.
The incident occurred 6:33 into the third period.
“While it is a difficult decision to suspend a coach at this point in
a Playoff Series, it has been made clear to all of our Players, Coaches and
other bench personnel that the National Hockey League cannot—and will not –
tolerate any physical contact with fans,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice
President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
“We do not take this action lightly. It is the result of an entire day of investigation and
evaluation that included the retrieval and review of videotape of the
incident and discussions with Mr. Tortorella, other Rangers’ bench
personnel and a number of other people, including the security personnel at
the Verizon Center.
“That investigation revealed that Mr. Tortorella squirted a fan with
water before Mr. Tortorella was doused with a beverage.
“While, in these circumstances, it always is easy to allege
mitigating circumstances, the fact is we do not tolerate contact with our
fans in this manner. That is communicated before each season in a memo that
is issued by the League to all of the management, coaches and players of
“The Sept. 8, 2008, memo entitled, ‘SUPPLEMENTARY DISCIPLINE
REMINDERS FOR THE 2008-09 SEASON,’ included the following section regarding
Contact With Fans:
Even where a fan is verbally abusive, intoxicated, or profane,
personnel should either ignore the conduct or, where appropriate,
assistance of police or security personnel at the arena.
This prohibition extends to all forms of physical contact,
whether it be direct
physical contact, the throwing of objects (including hockey sticks
equipment), or even the squirting of water. While the latter form of
have, in the past, seemed to be of a minor or harmless character,
may serve only to incite and provoke an unruly fan and may ultimately
Accordingly, please be on notice that all Club personnel
(management, coaches, trainers, and/or players) who engage in any
form of physical contact with fans, including the squirting of water,
will, on a going forward basis, be subject to discipline in the form
of a suspension. The Club involved will also be subject to a fine.
The suspension was issued pursuant to the Commissioner's authority
under Section 6.3(j)(1)(a) of the NHL Constitution. Tortorella will miss
the Rangers’ next game – tomorrow afternoon vs. Washington.