Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
The last time we saw Raffi Torres on NHL ice in game action was last spring. The Phoenix Coyotes forward had just launched himself into Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa, leaving the playmaking forward motionless on the ice. It was clear to anyone who had seen the hit that the NHL needed to come down hard on Torres for the despicable hit, with the hopes that a lengthy suspension would finally get the message through the skull of Torres. It certainly wasn’t the first time he had taken liberties on the ice, and his past gave no reason to be his last. Now, as Torres gets set to miss the first eight games of the truncated 2013 season after being leveled with a 25-game suspension (later reduced to 21 games) last spring, he claims that he is a changed man. The message, it would appear, has finally been heard. “I can’t afford to go through something like that again,” Torres told azcentral.com “There are some things that I’m going to have to change if I want to keep playing in this league at a competitive level, so I look forward to it. I know I can bring more to the game than just physical play.” Of course, what Torres had been doing was more egregious than simply “physical play.” His suspension history dates further back than the concussing Hossa hit, and Brendan Shanahan cited Torres’ checkered past as part of his reasoning for such a long suspension. That suspension, which likely won’t be limited even with a shortened season, has helped Torres see the light — or so he says. “I don’t think it’s going to be reduced,” Torres said. “I’ve gone through this in my head and at home with my family. Whenever it’s time to get started, that’s when it is.” Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett agrees, saying Torres can still plays with an edge, but must do so without the “recklessness.” If Torres needs any sort of a “role model” for his cleansing, he need look no further than Penguins forward Matt Cooke. The Pittsburgh winger is also a repeat visitor to the principal’s office, enough so that he also vowed to change his style of play. He did a pretty good job of keeping his nose clean last season, too, registering only 44 penalty minues, after averaging 112 PIMs per season in the three seasons prior. “The game’s changed a little bit the last few years,” Torres told the website. “Obviously I’ve got to realize that, and the utmost importance these days is the safety of the other players. I don’t want to go through something like that again.” Saying the right thing is a good first step for Torres, but no one is going to believe that he has truly changed as a player until he is able to show it on the ice.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Mavs' Aminu knocks padding off backboard with dunk

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

What if the Chargers didn't trade Eli?

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.