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Flyers CEO says he'll cover any potential fine for Tortorella reluctantly leaving bench

John Tortorella John Tortorella - The Canadian Press

Flyers CEO Dan Hilferty told Al Morganti of NBC Philadelphia that he will cover any potential fine issued to head coach John Tortorella for initially refusing to leave the bench after being ejected in the first period of Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I'm really proud of Torts for standing up for his/our team," Hilferty said to Morganti. "This new era of orange is about having each other's backs. Last night, Torts had our collective backs... I respect any action the league might feel a neeed to take but if it includes a fine, I am paying it."

With the Flyers already trailing 4-0 halfway through the opening period, Garnet Hathaway was given a 10-minute misconduct for shoving Tampa's Anthony Cirelli after the whistle. Tortorella voiced his displeasure towards the officials which resulted him receiving a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a game misconduct.

The 65-year-old continued to go at it with officials, appearing to tell referees Wes McCauley and Brandon Schrader that he would not leave. Tortorella repeated that sentiment a handful of times before eventually exiting the Flyers' bench for the night.

"Well, I think he was just trying to make a point that we felt like we might not been getting our fair shake," said Flyers associate coach Brad Shaw, who took over for Tortorella. “But you know, it’s an emotional game at times, and we all get elevated blood pressure.”

“I’ve never seen that,” Flyers forward Sean Couturier said on the subject of Tortorella's ejection. "Did he really deserve to get kicked out honestly after what he said? He didn’t say much.”

The Lightning would go on to win 7-0 Saturday on a night they honoured their 2004 Stanley Cup winning team that Tortorella coached. 

The Flyers currently sit 33-24-4 with 74 points, four points clear of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan division. They will be back in action Tuesday at home against the San Jose Sharks.