Cheap-shot artist Raffi Torres might have his suspension reduced
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org June 13, 2012 9:40PM
Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Philadelphia Flyers, 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 28 vs. Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29
at Red Wings,
Sunday, Sept. 30 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5
Saturday, Oct. 6
vs. Flyers, 7:30 p.m.
(All times CST)
Updated: July 15, 2012 3:37PM
It’s been more than eight weeks since Phoenix Coyotes headhunter Raffi Torres became Public Enemy No. 1 in Chicago for delivering an illegal, dirty and vicious hit to Blackhawks star Marian Hossa’s head in the playoffs.
And, soon it will be known if the subsequent 25-game suspension handed to Torres will stand.
On May 3, Torres’ camp with the NHL Players’ Association made it known it was appealing the length of the suspension, and weeks later they had their meeting with the NHL. The league will announce its decision regarding Torres’ ban soon — possibly as soon as Thursday or Friday — the Sun-Times has learned.
Commissioner Gary Bettman, the arbitrator in such cases, wanted to wait until the Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils concluded before announcing his decision.
“Mr. Torres sent us a notice of appeal about two weeks after the original decision was rendered,” Bettman said before the finals began. “We promptly scheduled an in-person hearing, which he requested. I now have to write an opinion, which I will do, am doing, but there are a couple of other things going on.
“Since Phoenix’s season is over, the timing of this isn’t quite as imperative as if the Coyotes were still playing.”
Torres has served 13 games of his suspension, missing the entire second and third rounds of the Coyotes’ longest playoff run ever. The 12 remaining games carry over into next regular season. Torres will forfeit $21,341.46 in salary for every regular-season game he is ineligible to play. Since players aren’t paid during the playoffs, Torres didn’t forfeit wages during the postseason.
Torres’ lengthy history of supplemental discipline was a major factor when disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed him the longest suspension in playoff history on April 21. Shanahan ruled Torres violated three rules — interference, charging and illegal check to the head — when he struck Hossa.
When he last spoke to reporters, Hossa said he was recovering slowly and didn’t remember much after the hit, including getting carried off on a stretcher and being hospitalized.
With the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expiring and another lockout possible, there’s a chance the 2012 preseason will get cut. But the Hawks showed optimism by joining other teams in announcing their preseason schedule on Wednesday.
For the second year in a row, the Hawks will play the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. The Philadelphia Flyers are their third opponent.