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Tortorella Leaves Jackets For Family Emergency

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Columbus Blue Jackets
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Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has temporarily left the team because of a family emergency. 

A statement on the team's web site says Tortorella's family is fine, but he doesn't want to release other details. 

Tortorella missed Thursday night's game in Nashville, and he says he'll also miss this weekend's All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Tortorella was picked to coach the Metropolitan Division All-Stars because Columbus had the division's best record. Since a team-record 16-game winning streak ended earlier this month, the Jackets have lost seven of 12 games.

The Jackets say assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle coaching duties for the Blue Jackets in Tortorella's absence. 

In the statement, Tortorella 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."

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.