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.
Jaroslav Halak is getting healthier but it’s not as if he’ll be coming back to get his starting job back. (Post-Dispatch)
Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun asks what’s up with referees Stephen Walkom and Ian Walsh from the Raffi Torres situation? Joel Quenneville was fined for criticizing them and Brendan Shanahan pointed out Torres broke three rules on the unpenalized play. (Calgary Sun)
Andrew Shaw returns from his suspension tonight while Marian Hossa remains out for the Blackhawks. (CSNChicago.com)
The legend of Patrice Bergeron grows evermore in Boston after his play in Game 6. (CSNNE.com)
The Red Wings head into the summer with oodles of salary cap space and don’t expect GM Ken Holland to sit on his hands. (Detroit Free Press)
Senators fans have been working in a pretty cool chant for Daniel Alfredsson each game. If he plays tonight it might actually just go all game long. (THN)
The big question in Columbus is whether or not Todd Richards will get the head coaching job full time next season. OK so that’s one of many big questions they’ve got there. (Puck-Rakers)
Teammates Crosby, Sullivan, seem to differ on Torres’ ruling
The Raffi Torres suspension has generated a lot of strong and opposing reactions, even from members of the same team. In Steve Sullivan’s case, his feelings towards the Torres suspension appear to be mixed at best.
The NHLs decision to suspend Raffi Torres 25 games for his illegal hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa is generating reaction from around the league, but it’s his own team’s response that was the one we were most curious about.
After all, we’ve seen the Rangers and Capitals speak their mind about separate suspensions to Carl Hagelin and Nicklas Backstrom, but would the NHL-owned Coyotes dissent against Torres’ lengthy ban? The simple answer is, “No.”
“I want to thank Brendan Shanahan and his staff for their thorough review of this incident,” said Maloney. “The ruling is very severe for Raffi and our Hockey Club. Raffi plays a hard, physical game yet this contact crossed the line on what is acceptable in our game today. We hope Marian Hossa makes a full and speedy recovery as we all enjoy watching him perform. The Club accepts the NHL’s decision and will focus on our game tonight.”
These words from Maloney are a lot more peaceful than his wild statements about how the reaction to Torres’ hit was akin to that of a guy that killed a bus full of children. Now if Torres can turn his attitude around as fast as Maloney has perhaps he can go about his career without any further controversy. Perhaps being ward of the league helped keep everyone’s opinions in check on this one in Phoenix.
History: Where Torres’ 25 games ranks among the NHL’s longest suspensions
“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)
“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.
Shanahan sets precedent: Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for Hossa head shot
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.