People are saying a lot of things about the 25-game suspension Raffi Torres was handed today, but not many are saying it was too lenient.
For putting Marian Hossa in the hospital, Torres will serve two more games than Marty McSorley sat for nearly decapitating Donald Brashear in 2000, four more than Dale Hunter got for blindsiding Pierre Turgeon in 1993, and five more than Todd Bertuzzi got for ending Steve Moore’s career in 2004.
As bad as what Torres did to Hossa, it didn’t stack up to those three offenses.
Of course, Torres is a multiple repeat offender, and that played a significant role in his sentence.
However, it will be interesting to see how the NHLPA reacts, because Torres is still a member of the players’ union. As such, the union has a duty to stick up for him if it feels he’s been treated unfairly.
An appeal is reportedly not out of the question.
The risk for the PA should it decide to appeal is considerable. For the past two weeks, the NHL has been lambasted by fans and media for its failure to apply tough justice. An appeal would put the union right in the same cross-hairs. And with the upcoming CBA negotiations, the last thing it’ll want to do is get on the wrong side of the public.
The NHLPA walks a very fine line in these situations. On the one hand, it’s obligated to defend members who it feels are treated unfairly by the league. In the Torres case, the word “scapegoat” comes to mind.
On the other hand, what about Hossa? Isn’t he a member as well?