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NHL suspends Flyers coach John Tortorella 2 games after he refused to leave bench post-ejection

John Tortorella gave officials an earful on Saturday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
John Tortorella gave officials an earful on Saturday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella for two games after he refused to leave the bench following his ejection from Saturday's 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The league announced the ban on Sunday alongside a $50,000 fine for Tortorella, citing his "unprofessional conduct directed at the officials by refusing to leave the bench area after being assessed a game misconduct."

The incident took place in the first period Saturday after Tampa Bay opened a 4-0 lead less than 11 minutes into the game. Referee Wes McCauley issued Tortorella a game misconduct on the heels of the Tampa Bay's fourth goal, a penalty that comes with an automatic ejection. Tortorella had argued a tripping penalty that preceded the Lightning's power play goal.

But Tortorella didn't leave the bench upon his ejection. He instead stood at his post and yelled at McCauley.

"I'm not," Tortorella appeared to tell McCauley along with a few choice words. He continued to exchange words with officials while refusing to leave the bench. After nearly two minutes, he finally conceded and made his way back into the tunnel.

The incident took place in Tampa as the Lightning celebrated their 2003-04 Stanley Cup championship team that Tortorella coached. Players in attendance from that that title team watched and laughed in their box as their former coach gave officials an earful.

Tortorella will miss upcoming games against the San Jose Sharks (Tuesday) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Thursday). The 33-24-8 Flyers are in playoff position in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 17 games remaining on their schedule.