John Tortorella will not coach the Metropolitan Division at the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game becaue of a family emergency, the Columbus Blue Jackets said Thursday.
"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," the Blue Jackets coach said. "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."
Tortorella also was not with the Blue Jackets for their final game before the All-Star break, a 4-3 loss at the Nashville Predators.
Assistants Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will coach Columbus until Tortorella returns.
"I appreciate everyone who has reached out to me this evening with their concerns about my family," Tortorella said through the Blue Jackets. "My family is fine. We are just dealing with a situation that is personal and very important to us, but I will leave it at that. I'll be back with the team very soon."
The 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend begins Friday in Los Angeles. The All-Star Game is Sunday at Staples Center (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).
Columbus is 32-12-4, four points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Tortorella was named to coach the Metropolitan Division on Jan. 10, when the Blue Jackets were in first place.
Columbus will next play at the New York Rangers on Jan. 31.