The Vancouver Canucks have shut down an online business producing T-shirts that show support for suspended coach John Tortorella.
Construction worker Treven LePage and web developer Dan Skology were told to halt sales of the shirts portraying an angry Tortorella with the slogan, "Free Torts," CBC News reported.
The pair had launched the site after the Canucks coach was suspended for 15 days when he tried to charge the Calgary Flames' dressing room following a first period line brawl on Jan. 18.
The shirts were sold at FreeTorts.com for $20 apiece, with $1 from every sale going to the John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation.
But sales were stopped after LePage received a call from a Canucks spokesperson on Thursday telling him to remove the website.
"He told us that if we didn't take the website down and stop selling immediately he would escalate it to the NHL, and the NHL had a lot of people who would like nothing more than to make an example of us, who would in turn sue us," he told CBC.
The website shipped approximately 100 shirts in its two-day existence, reaching buyers in places as far flung as Savannah, Ga. and New Brunswick, The Province reported.
The club didn't want LePage using images of the Canucks to make a personal profit, Trent Carroll, executive VP and marketing with the Canucks, told the newspaper.
But LePage told CTV News he wasn't making any money on the shirts.
FreeTorts.com hasn't completely shut down. While t-shirts are no longer on sale, the website is asking visitors to tweet with the hashtag "#FreeFreeTorts" to show their support.
Many users have responded, including Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason:
LePage isn't the only local who's been inspired by Tortorella's outburst.
Frankie's Italian Kitchen and Bar, a Vancouver restaurant close to BC Place has begun serving "Angry Torts"-aloni, a spicy dish with veal, ricotta, sun-dried tomato sauce, chili, Parmigiano-Reggiano and spinach, The Province reported.
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