Raffi Torres has been sitting quietly in the press box since delivering his brutal shot to Marian Hossa in the first round, but there’s a very outside chance his days of waiting may come to an end soon.
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Torres’ appeal of his 25-game suspension will be heard on Thursday. The catch with an appeal, however, is he won’t be sitting down with Brendan Shanahan to discuss it but with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman instead. The chances of seeing Bettman go against his guy Shanahan and reduce Torres’ suspension would appear to be minimal.
Torres’ suspension for his late, head-targeting hit is one of the longest in NHL history and one that was deemed to have three separate penalties occur on the same play. No penalty was called during the game.
The one guy we hadn’t heard from regarding Raffi Torres’ 25-game suspension for hitting Marian Hossa was Torres himself. This afternoon through the NHLPA, however, Torres did release a brief statement on his playoff-ending ban from hockey.
“My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian.
Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.”
Torres does have the right to appeal his suspension, but should he do that his appeal won’t be heard by the man who suspended him today, Brendan Shanahan, but instead by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The chances that Bettman would go against a ruling handed down by another member of the NHL offices would seem slim.
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On the ruling, Shanahan pointed out Torres broke three separate rules during his hit on Hossa, a play that went without a penalty called during the game.
Raffi Torres’ 25-game suspension is one of the longest in the history of the NHL, so there’s not much to compare it with. However, one that comes to mind is Matt Cooke’s punishment for elbowing Ryan McDonagh last season. For his actions, Cooke was suspended for the final 10 regular season games and the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Cooke promised to change following that suspension and for the most part, he has succeeded. He went from spending 129 minutes in the sin bin in 2010-11 to recording just 44 penalty minutes in 82 games this season. At the same time, he posted career-highs with 19 goals and 38 points.
Cooke acknowledged that longer suspensions do send a message.
“Yeah. I think messages are sent through suspensions for sure. I guess it’s how it’s perceived,” Cooke said.
So will Torres get the message or will it fall on deaf ears? He will almost certainly get another chance next season.
In a major ruling, the NHL has suspended Phoenix’s Raffi Torres 25 games for his illegal check to the head of Chicago’s Marian Hossa.
The hit left Hossa on the ice and in need of a stretcher and a trip to the hospital. Hossa has not returned to action and remains out with what’s believed to be a concussion.
Torres’ past transgressions, including three offenses this season, worked against him.
In a statement, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan said Torres knew Hossa was no longer in possession of the puck on the play, as he took a swipe at it with his stick before leaping into Hossa to deliver a head shot. Shanahan noted Torres violated three rules on the play — interference, charging, and Rule 48 for an illegal check to the head — as well as Torres’ reputation as “a repeat offender as defined by the CBA.”
Since he’s already served one game of his in Thursday’s Game 4 — a 3-2 Coyotes victory — the 25-game ban means Torres is done for this year’s playoffs.
Should Phoenix go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals and go seven games in all their series played, that would equal 25 games. Any games not served in the postseason will carry over to next year. Should that happen, Torres won’t be allowed to play in the preseason either.
Here’s Shanahan with his explanation of his decision.
From Adam Jahns, here’s the back page of today’s Chicago Sun-Times:
Torres, of course, annihilated Chicago forward Marian Hossa during Tuesday’s Game 3, which the Coyotes went on to win 3-2 in overtime.
Hossa has been ruled out of Game 4, but the ‘Hawks aren’t offering much else in the way of a status update.
Here’s the latest from the Sun-Times:
“There’s no change,” Quenneville said. “I spoke to him [Wednesday]. He’s probably felt the same way the past few days.”
Quenneville also wouldn’t forecast Hossa’s availability. Right now, he’s at home resting after being hospitalized after getting hit in the head by Raffi Torres in the first period of Game 3.
“I’m not going to go out any further than where we’re at today,” Quenneville said.
The Hawks, though, have said it’s been good to communicate with Hossa since seeing him carried off on a stretcher and hospitalized after the hit.
“He’s texting all the boys back, so he’s pretty busy with his phone now,” Jonathan Toews said. “I don’t want to keep him too busy. You want him to rest and relax. But by the sound of it, he’s getting better as the day goes on.”
Torres won’t play tonight as he’s suspended indefinitely pending Friday’s hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan. Rookie Brandon Saad will draw in for Hossa, while Marc-Antoine Pouliot will replace Torres in the Coyotes lineup.