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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

Five potentially fatal flaws for Seahawks in the Super Bowl

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

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.