Raffi Torres

History: Where Torres’ 25 games ranks among the NHL’s longest suspensions


Brendan Shanahan’s 25-game suspension of Phoenix forward Raffi Torres represents one of the harshest punishments in NHL history.

Here’s a look at some of the other most notorious incidents (and suspensions) of the modern era:

Dec. 2007: Chris Simon stomps Jarkko Ruutu (30 games)

A repeat offender — he’d been suspended 25 games in March of 2007 for slashing Ryan Hollweg in the head — Simon was handed one of the stiffest penalties in league history.

The official statement from then-league disciplinarian Colin Campbell:

“In addition, while the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on  Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case. 

When a player repeatedly evidences the lack of ability to control his actions and conducts himself in total disregard of the rules, as well the health and safety of other players on the ice, each subsequent incident is deserving of enhanced scrutiny and more severe discipline.”

Oct. 2007: Jesse Boulerice cross-checks Ryan Kesler (25 games)

Campbell statement:

“You hope there’s a point where a player says: this is where I draw the line and I’m not going any farther.

“When they do go farther, they get a penalty. When they go farther than that, they get a suspension. When they take it to the point where Mr. Boulerice did, it’s well above a normal suspension.”

Feb 2000: Marty McSorley slash on Donald Brashear (remainder of season — 23 games)

This hit basically ended McSorley’s career, as he’d never play another NHL game after the Brashear incident. McSorley was later found guilty of assault and sentenced to 18 months probation in what was the first trial for an on-ice attack since Dino Ciccarelli in 1988.

Apr. 1993: Dale Hunter deliberate hit/injury on Pierre Turgeon (21 games)

In one of his first major rulings as commissioner, Gary Bettman handed down what was, at the time, the longest suspension in league history for an on-ice incident.

“Under my watch, this is the way I’m going to deal with these incidents,” Bettman said. “If this is not a deterrent, I’m going to find something that is. Everyone will be held accountable for their conduct.”

Mar. 2004: Todd Bertuzzi punches Steve Moore (remainder of season — 20 games)

Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs and, because of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, banned from playing in any IIHF league as well. Moore’s career was essentially over after the hit; his civil suit against Bertuzzi is set to begin on Sept. 24, 2012.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.