Shanahan sets precedent: Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for Hossa head shot

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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.