Tortorella to miss NHL All-Star game due to family emergency

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A family emergency will prevent John Tortorella from coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, the NHL team announced.

Tortorella's absence also will be in effect for the NHL's All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, where he was scheduled to coach the Metropolitan Division squad in Sunday's three-on-three tournament.

He said he hopes to return to the Blue Jackets next week when the team's season resumes Tuesday at the New York Rangers.

"Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the All-Star Game in Los Angeles," Tortorella said in a statement.

"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. I appreciate the support of our organization and the National Hockey League and my hope is to be back with the team next week."

Blue Jackets assistants Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle head coaching duties in Tortorella's absence.

Columbus is 32-11-4 with 68 points, second most in the NHL entering Thursday.

The team went on a 16-game win streak that spanned the entire month of December, falling one victory shy of tying the NHL record.