NHL Coach Misses All-Star Game to Be With His Sick Dog

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.



When Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella announced he was missing Thursday night’s game against the Nashville Predators and all of All-Star Weekend due to a personal matter, the speculation began.

Folks were immediately concerned; specifically because Tortorella’s son is an active member of the U.S. military.

Yesterday, the coach told the press what was up: one of his family’s five dogs is gravely ill — and his family needed him there.



“I appreciate so much the number of messages I have received since the announcement,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. “But this absolutely is not an emergency. I want to clear that up. I needed a few days during the All-Star break – not having to go to the All-Star Game – to take care of something very important to my family and my son.”

Tortorella has a long history of supporting animal rights causes, and his family’s foundation – The John and Christine Tortorella Foundation – has, among other things, found homes for several rescue and foster dogs. He has an affinity for pit bulls.

The dog that is ailing is a 10-year-old, red-nosed pit bull, Emma. She belongs to his son, Nick, who is a U.S. Army Ranger stationed abroad.

“I needed to see this through,” Tortorella said.

2 thoughts on “NHL Coach Misses All-Star Game to Be With His Sick Dog”

  1. We just cancelled a cruise because our almost 16 year old border terrier is going rapidly downhill. It wouldn’t have been enjoyable anyway, worrying about him. After all the joy he has given us since he was eight weeks old, we put him ahead of ourselves in his last few months. There is nothing to beat a four legged faithful companion. Homerdog, I love you

  2. You made the right choice, going to find your foundation online to get on your email list. A lot of people would never understand the bond that people have with their faithful, loving four legged friends


Leave a Comment