Finally the NHL got one right, Raffi Torres has a long history of taking cheap shots at players when they can't defend themselves. It is only fair that they gave Torres a stiff suspension considering they have to send him a message like they did for Penguins forward Matt Cooke. Let's hope that Torres will learn a lesson as Cooke did and get back to just playing the game.
The NHL suspended Raffi Torres 25 games Saturday for a late hit that injured Chicago's Marian Hossa, ensuring that the Phoenix forward will miss the rest of the playoffs. The announcement came hours before the Coyotes had a chance to eliminate the Blackhawks in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Torres left his feet to hit an unsuspecting Hossa during Game 3 on Tuesday night, smashing the Blackhawks forward into the ice. Hossa was taken off on a stretcher and hasn't appeared again in the series.
For Torres, it's the third time he's been suspended by the NHL for a questionable hit in the last 13 months. He had a goal and an assist and averaged more than 19 minutes of ice time for Phoenix in the first three games of the series.
If the 25 games aren't exhausted during the playoffs - the Coyotes would need to play four straight seven-game series to complete the suspension - the ban carries over into the next regular season. Torres would not be able to play in any preseason games in that case.
As a repeat offender, Torres would forfeit $21,341 in salary for every regular-season game he sits out. Torres served the first game of the suspension Thursday while waiting for Friday's hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
In a statement Saturday, Shanahan said Torres' hit violated three rules: interference, charging and illegal check to the head. Shanahan said two factors figuring into the length of the suspension were that "this violent and dangerous hit caused a severe injury" and that Torres' "extensive supplemental discipline history consists mainly of acts very similar to this one - including two this season."
"Despite knowing that Hossa no longer has the puck, Torres decides to finish his check past the amount of time when Hossa is eligible to be body-checked," Shanahan said. "While we acknowledge the circumstances of certain hits may cause a player's skates to come off the ice," he added, "on this hit, Torres launches himself into the air before making contact.
The position of Hossa's head does not change just prior to or simultaneous with this hit. The onus, therefore, is on Torres not to make it the principal point of contact. By leaping, Torres makes Hossa's head the principal point of contact." --(AP) & nhlfanchat.com Staff
Do you think that 25 games was Too much, Too little or Just Right?
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