Blackhawks want NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to throw book at Raffi Torres
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org April 19, 2012 10:14PM
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:59AM
Seemingly every Blackhawk asked about Phoenix Coyotes agitator Raffi Torres said the same thing: The NHL should make an example out of him for his illegal head hit on Marian Hossa in Game 3.
“It’s got to be,” center Dave Bolland said. “Things are getting out of control. ... Some [hits] could be ending careers.”
It’s thought Torres will receive the stiffest suspension yet in a hectic postseason for league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who already had suspended or fined nine players in the playoffs before Thursday’s games.
Some insiders have suggested a suspension for Torres that’s potentially long enough to carry over into next season should the Coyotes be eliminated at some point this postseason.
Here’s the rap sheet Shanahan must consider before, after and during Torres’ in-person disciplinary hearing Friday in New York:
† A two-game suspension for charging Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser on Dec. 31, 2011.
† A $2,500 fine for elbowing Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda on Dec. 29, 2011.
† A four-game suspension, including two playoff games, for elbowing Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5, 2011.
It’s also likely Shanahan won’t be able to completely dismiss Torres’ unsavory reputation even though all head hits weren’t banned in the NHL until this past June.
Torres has made a number of high hits in the past, including knocking out an unsuspecting Brent Seabrook last postseason when he was with the Canucks in his first game back from the Eberle suspension. Torres wasn’t suspended, and Seabrook suffered a concussion.
With his leaping shoulder-to-head hit on Hossa, Torres violated Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head), despite not being penalized for it. Hossa didn’t have the puck at the time.
“It hits all the criteria of what we are told not to do,” winger Andrew Brunette said.
Torres hasn’t spoken to the media since the end of Game 3 but took part in the Coyotes’ morning skate Thursday and was at the United Center for Game 4. Hossa, meanwhile, is out with a head injury.
‘‘First off, I hope he’s all right,’’ Torres said. ‘‘But as far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play. Just trying to finish my hit.’’
The Coyotes have come to Torres’ defense, including general manager Don Maloney, who thinks his player has been depicted unfairly.
“You would think Raffi murdered a busload of children the way he’s portrayed here in Chicago,” Maloney told the Arizona Republic. “It’s like, well, hold it now. This is a hard-played game. To me, it was part of a hockey play, and I’m not defending it.
“An offense occurred, but it was not a situation where he took his stick and hit someone in the head. We’re talking about two-hundredths of a second it went from being a regular hit to being a little-late hit.”