One of the most controversial moments of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs was when Canucks forward Raffi Torres caught Chicago’s Brent Seabrook with this devastating bodycheck in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal:
The hit made waves throughout the NHL on a variety of fronts.
First, the sheer impact of the collision.
Second, the way discipline was handled — Torres received a two-minute interference penalty on the play but no suspension from then-NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell, who deemed it a legal check.
Three, the aftermath. Seabrook left the game momentarily, returned, but was then held out of the next two games with an “upper-body” injury. Seabrook returned to the Chicago lineup for Game 6, drawing the ire of former NHLer Keith Primeau, who questioned the Blackhawks’ concussion protocol.
Now — in a weird twist of fate — Seabrook and Torres are on course to meet up again in the first round of the playoffs as the Blackhawks and Coyotes (Torres’ new team) prepare for Game 1 tonight in Phoenix.
Prior to the game, neither party seemed keen on discussing the feud.
“It’s over,” Seabrook told CSN Chicago. “It was a year ago, and there’s nothing to talk about.”
Torres wasn’t biting at reporter’s queries either. He called the hit “just a hockey play” and didn’t offer much beyond that.
It’ll be interesting to see if the two reunite in a similar fashion. Seabrook has been a magnet for gigantic hits throughout his career (see here and here and here) and Torres hasn’t taken any edge off his notoriously physical play. He was suspended two games this year for charging Minnesota’s Nate Prosser and also fined $2,500 for elbowing Colorado’s Jan Hejda.