Raffi Torres and wife as Jay Z and Beyonce

PHT Morning Skate: Raffi Torres is Jay-Z for Halloween… Wait, what?


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Raffi Torres got dressed up as Jay-Z for Halloween. That might not sit well with some folks but he sure looks the part. (BizNasty2point0 on Twitter)

If you think people weren’t upset by that costume… You’d be wrong. (Sun Media, Puck Daddy)

Not that we’re ushering in Jaromir Jagr’s retirement, but when he’s done playing hockey he’ll be busy as an owner in the Czech League. (CSNPhilly.com)

Quebec City doesn’t have a new arena yet, but they’ve already got plans to honor their past ready to go. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Nick Leddy is quietly turning into one of Chicago’s steadiest defensemen. Not bad for a 19 year-old. Why can’t the Wild find guys like that? (CSNChicago.com)

Sens rookie goalie Robin Lehner sticks up for Nikita Filatov saying he’s too good for the AHL. Now if only he’d prove that in the NHL…  (Senators Extra)

Mike Fisher isn’t joining the Predators on their road trip to Chicago after getting blown up by Francois Beauchemin. Uh oh. (Tennessean)

Money on the board? Florida assistant coach Craig Ramsay gears up to face his former team the Atlanta… Winnipeg Jets. (NHL)

When not complaining about referee conspiracies, the Bruins look to get the defensive groove back. (CSNNE.com)

Just call the Panthers doormen because they’re making opponents have closed-door meetings after playing them. (Sun Sentinel)

Finally, it might be time for the L.A. Dodgers to sign up Scott Parse after this batted-in goal against Colorado.

Joe Thornton’s status in doubt after a wicked hit from Raffi Torres

Joe Thornton, Alex Burrows

The Sharks tough 4-2 loss in Game 4 to the Canucks came with a price. Not only are the Sharks now down 3-1 in the series that’s headed back to Vancouver with the possibility of seeing the Canucks clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup final, but San Jose could be without their captain in that game.

Joe Thornton was knocked out of Game 4 in the third period thanks to a heavy hit from Canucks forward Raffi Torres. Torres’ hit caught Thornton off guard and caused Thornton to fall awkwardly to the ice. While Thornton popped back up after the hit, he was holding his left arm gingerly as he skated back to the bench. Thornton headed back to the locker room for treatment and did not return to the ice.

After the game, Sharks coach Todd McLellan was asked about Thornton’s status and gave this update.

 Q.  Can you update us on Thornton’s situation?

        COACH McLELLAN:  I can’t right now.  We’ll see once I get an update.

We’re not about to play amateur doctor here and guess what’s ailing Thornton, but seeing him holding his arm the way he was when he left the ice to be treated has to give the Sharks extreme concern. After all, if you’re going into an elimination game without arguably your best forward, you’re starting off in a bad way from the get go. We’ll find out more about Thornton’s condition later on, but right now the Sharks have every reason to be worried ahead of Game 5.

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The NHL explains logic behind Raffi Torres non-suspension

Raffi Torres, Brent Seabrook

In case you haven’t heard, Vancouver Canucks forward Raffi Torres landed a thunderous (and controversial) hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in Sunday’s Game 3 match. The NHL decided he wasn’t guilty of an infraction that was worthy of a fine or suspension, meaning that Torres was only really guilty of incredibly poor timing since he landed that hit on his first game back from a previous suspension.

(You can read my thoughts on the hit here, Joe’s take in this post and reactions from both teams in this article.)

Now that you’ve had a chance to digest the basics of the situation, we can move on to the NHL’s explanation for their decision. The common Twitter snark revolved around word that players get more leeway with hits behind the red line, but league disciplinarian Colin Campbell didn’t mention that in his statement on the matter.

“When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a ‘legal play’.

“This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: He did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not ‘late’.”

So this begs the question, particularly to those who thought Torres deserved to be suspended: is this a satisfactory explanation? If not, what else can the league do to curb these types of hits or at least make their process easier to understand? Let us know in the comments and check out one more clip of the hit below.

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