Tag: suspension debates


Chris Neil’s hit leaves Brian Boyle concussed, out for Game 6


To some, it’s amazing that Ottawa Senators tough guy Chris Neil was even able to land a controversial – and according to New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella, concussive – blow on red-hot forward Brian Boyle. Earlier in Game 5, Neil was the victim of this knee-to-knee hit by Rangers newbie Chris Kreider:

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That hit wasn’t the subject of much discussion. Instead, it was Neil’s hit on Boyle later on in the third. Boyle actually looked pretty good in the limited time he played after leaving the ice briefly from the hit – he registered one of New York’s best chances – but Tortorella said that he has a concussion and that “he’s out” for Game 6.

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Naturally, Tortorella wasn’t happy with the hit and even compared it to Raffi Torres’ infamous check.

Torts says that the league has “blueprint to follow” for how to handled Neil hit after similar hit by Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa.

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Meanwhile, Arthur Staple caught up with Neil, who called the hit “clean.”

“The hit was clean,” Neil said. “When you’re cutting through the middle with your head down, you’ve got to expect to be hit.”

Again, we’ll have video of that hit soon enough, but feel free to start the debate if you’ve already seen it. Should Neil get a suspension? If so, for how long?

Going further, should Kreider sit for his knee-to-knee on Neil? Do tell.

Willie Mitchell on Torres suspension: “It’s about time they got aggressive”

Willie Mitchell
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When Willie Mitchell was looking for a contract in the summer of 2010, the red flags were obvious: his concussion issues absolutely threatened his career. Eventually the Los Angeles Kings signed him to a “risky” two-year contract and he’s been a helpful part of a great defense. With his history of head injuries, Mitchell had a lot of interesting things to say about the big Raffi Torres suspension, as he told Rich Hammond.

“First of all, I just want to say that it’s just not Raffi,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. If you’re a repeat offender, it’s about time they got aggressive. I give Brendan (Shanahan) and the league compliments, because they’ve done a good job in the regular season. I think, in the playoffs, they maybe got away from it early on, and they set a precedent that was tough to get away from.”

Mitchell believes that Byron Bitz probably deserved more than just a couple games for boarding Kyle Clifford, calling it a “five, 10, 25 thing.” Yet perhaps the most interesting material comes when Mitchell speaks from experience when it comes to how this will affect Marian Hossa – both on and off the ice.

“It hurts the team, but the No. 1 person it hurts — and I’ve been through three of them — is Marian Hossa,” Mitchell said. “That’s his life. His life is changed. There’s no doubt about it. It’s changed. Obviously it’s changed, where he’s not healthy and he’s in pain every day, but it’s changed from the fact that he’s much more susceptible to another one. It’s changed that maybe he might have issues for the rest of his life.”

Raffi Torres releases statement regarding suspension, might still appeal

Marian Hossa, Raffi Torres

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.