Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/3/12
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, his agent, Eustace King, and the NHL Players Association announced Thursday that they will appeal the length of his 25-game suspension for a hit on Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Coyotes declined comment on the process until the season has concluded. King offered little more on Thursday, saying we want to respect the process. King confirmed that a meeting will take place with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman but said he does not yet have a date for that meeting. King declined to say what precedents or other specifics he, Torres and the NHLPA looked at when deciding to file the appeal, but he did say they wanted to take our time, do our diligence to decide what we wanted to do as far as moving forward. After doing our diligence, we decided we wanted to appeal, and now its just a process. Torres, who was suspended April 21, has already missed six games. The Coyotes cant be eliminated before Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Predators, so hes guaranteed to miss at least nine games before next season starts. Timing may not be on Torres side. New arbitration rules are being floated as part of the negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreeement, which must be in place before next season for the games to take place, barring an extension. But its unlikely Bettman, who will decide on the appeal, will buck NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan now. The league has come under heavy criticism from fans and media for not taking a tough-enough stance on head shots and dirty plays. An appeal could also open the NHLPA to heavy public criticism at a time when it needs public support for leverage in CBA negotiations. If it stands, the 25-game suspension -- Torres' third suspension in the past 13 months -- would be tied for the second longest in NHL history.
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