Found April 21, 2012 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
New Jersey Devils
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A three-day delay didnt help Raffi Torres cause.
In a move that some would say was long overdue, the NHL came down hard on the Coyotes forward Saturday, suspending him 25 games for an open-ice hit on Chicagos Marian Hossa at 11:42 of the first period in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series Tuesday at the United Center. It is the third-longest suspension in league history as far as games lost.
In its ruling, the league determined that Torres violated three league rules -- interference, charging and an illegal check to head -- despite the fact that no penalty was called on the play.
NHL senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said two other factors also played a role in the suspension.
First, this violent and dangerous hit caused a severe injury. Second, not only is Torres a repeat offender as defined by the CBA, his 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. That is a violation of the interference rule.
While we acknowledge the circumstances of certain hits may cause a players skates to come off the ice, on this hit, Torres launches himself into the air before making contact. This is a violation of the charging rule.
The position of Hossas 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. Torres makes Hossas head the principal point of contact. This is a violation of the illegal check rule.
The Coyotes toed the company line when asked for reactions to the suspension at Saturdays morning skate.
Were not going to say anything about it, captain Shane Doan said.
The league has made its decision, and theres nothing we can do about it now, coach Dave Tippett added. Well deal with it as a club, and Raffi has to deal with it, but our focus is solely on what we have to do tonight as a club.
So what to make of this ruling? First, for anyone thinking or hoping this suspension would serve as a benchmark or a flashpoint for a much harder line stance on head shots, Shanahans statement made it clear this was not as much about that as it was about punishing Torres.
In that light, its also difficult to paint Torres suspension within the context of this postseason. There have been multiple cries about the leagues inconsistency with lengths of suspensions -- or the lack thereof in the case of Shea Weber. Those still stand, as does the NHLs maddening inability to evaluate intent when rendering these judgments.
But Torres has been warned repeatedly to stop this very type of hit. He had been suspended or fined five previous times, including a two-game suspension earlier this season for a hit on Minnesotas Nate Prosser and a four-game suspension late last season for a hit on Edmontons Jordan Eberle. Yet Torres still didnt get the leagues message.
On the play in question, Hossa lay on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher and transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital for tests. He was released later that night. Shanahans comments made it clear Hossa is suffering a severe injury, likely a concussion.
Its a shame the league doesnt take all head shots more seriously. Concussions are a very serious business. Its a violent game, and injuries are going to happen regardless of which rules are in place, but there is no place for head shots. The league should do everything in its power to protect players futures long after they have retired from the game of hockey.
HANZAL, KORPIKOSKI SKATE
Both forwards Martin Hanzal (lower body) and Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) skated Sunday at the Alltel Ice Den as the team prepared for Game 5 Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Coach Dave Tippett said Korpikoski would be a game-time decision, but he called Hanzal doubtful. Hanzal left the ice before regular practice began Saturday morning. Korpikoski remained for the full practice.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville officially ruled Hossa out of Game 5 on Friday. Hossa did not travel with the team to Phoenix, and his availability for the rest of the series is uncertain.
Following Shanahans statement on the Torres hit, it is clear Hossa is suffering from a major injury. Its highly unlikely well see him again in this postseason unless the Hawks make a deep run.
Rookie Brandon Saad replaced him in the lineup in Game 4 and could again in Game 5.
BEST OF MAXIM
The NHL has spoken, they have made an example out of Raffi Torres, they have thrown the book at him. The NHL has also set a precedence, the question is, will the NHL be consistent in their ruling?. While I think that Torres deserved at least a 5-10 suspension this suspension is almost to the point of being excessive. My first question is...
Phoenix Coyotes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is what the GM of the Phoenix Coyotes had to say about his player Raffi Torres being suspended.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has issued the following statement regarding Coyotes forward Raffi Torres’ 25 game suspension that was announced today by the National Hockey League.
Brendan Shanahan has been busy this postseason, and on Saturday, he sent a serious message to Raffi Torres and the rest of the NHL. Torres has been suspended for 25 games for launching himself to hit Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series on Tuesday. Torres had been suspended indefinitely, but Shanahan decided to lay down the hammer for what was clearly an illegal...
Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 25 games by the NHL for his hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during Game 3 Tuesday of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said Saturday that Torres' hit was "a violation of three NHL rules -- interference, charging and illegal check to the head...
The NHL suspended Phoenix Coyotes Raffi Torres 25 games for his brutal hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa. Torres will not play another game this season even if the Coyotes go to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 25 game suspension is the longest ever handed out in the playoffs in NHL history.
"Raffi plays a hard, physical game yet this contact crossed the line on...
National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan will announce Saturday whether Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres will receive supplemental discipline for his hit Tuesday on Chicago's Marian Hossa.Torres was suspended indefinitely Wednesday and had an in-person hearing Friday at the NHL's New York Office.The Coyotes lead...
TORONTO/NHLPA (April 21, 2012) - Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres issued the following statement today.
“My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian.
Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether...
On April 17, Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa had to be stretchered off the ice thanks to a particularly brutal check from Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres. After being suspended indefinitely, director of player safety Brendan Shanahan made his final decision, taking Torres off the ice for 25 games. It's difficult to say whether Shanahan was trying to make a statement...
The NHL finally made a decision that the majority of hockey fans will be pleased with. They've been criticized repeatedly for their action, or inaction, when it comes to handling player discipline. The most obvious was the blunder with Shea Weber, where the Nashville defenseman received a tiny $2,500 fine for smashing a player's head into the glass.
Naturally, fans feared...
NHL slams Torres with huge punishment for Hossa hit.
The ex-Canuck picked the wrong time to level Marian Hossa and now faces the longest playoff suspension ever and the longest suspension ever handed out to a player not named Chris Simon.
Marty McSorley got 23 games for infamous lovetap on Donald Brashear's head and Dale Hunter got 21 games in the playoffs in 1993 for his vicious crosscheck on Pierre Turgeon.
Is this what...
The NHL has fined Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville $10,000 for criticizing officials following a playoff game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Quenneville criticized the game officials for failing to call a penalty on Raffi Torres after the Coyotes forward hit Marian Hossa with his shoulder and drove him to the ice in Tuesday night's Game 3.
Hossa was carried off the ice...