Brian Burke reveals the real reason John Tortorella charged the Calgary locker room.

Brian Burke reveals the real reason John Tortorella charged the Calgary locker room.

Brian Burke has revealed the real reason that John Tortorella was furious with the Calgary Flames.

Jonathan Larivee

It is perhaps a moment unlike any other in the modern era of the National Hockey League.

In January of 2014, then Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella would take the legends of his fiery temper to an entirely new level when he seemingly lost his mind and charged the Calgary Flames locker room in an attempt to get his hands on Bob Hartley, who at the time was the head coach of the Calgary Flames.

The incident would be widely discussed and was a humiliating moment for both Tortorella himself and the National Hockey League as a whole, eventually resulting in Tortorella being suspended for 15 days as a result of his actions. It was a moment that proved to be severely damaging to Tortorella's reputation, and rightfully so, but it may also be one in which we should feel a great deal of compassion for the man in the middle of it.

During a recent interview, former National Hockey League executive Brian Burke, who served as president and general manager of the Calgary Flames at the time of the incident in question, revealed the real reason that Tortorella blew a gasket on that fateful night.

While Burke acknowledged that there had been a long standing hatred between Tortorella and Hartley that fueled the incident, according to Burke the spark had been lit much earlier during the day. In fact according to Brian Burke, this may have had very little to do with what was happening on the ice or hockey at all for that matter.

"John Tortorella, he'll be furious with me for telling you this part of the story, but his son is an army ranger... the equivalent of a Navy Seal," began Burke on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. "His son is an Army Ranger and he was deployed that day to the 'Sandbox' as they call it, Afghanistan and Iraq. They weren't sure where they were going... they just know they are leaving for the Sandbox... so he ended up waiting for that call that day and he was tighter than a piano wire for that game and I'm not surprised that he just couldn't take it."

Burke clearly has a great deal of empathy for what Tortorella was going through on that day in particular, and although Burke was on the opposing side that day he is glad that Tortorella did not face even harsher punishment.

"John Tortorella is a good guy and I'm glad he didn't get more," admitted Burke.