Raffi Torres gets 25-game suspension for hit on Marian Hossa
By Ben Meyer-Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org April 21, 2012 12:00PM
Blackhawks' Marian Hossa is taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting hit by the Coyotes' Raffi Torres during Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at The United Center on Tuesday. | AP
Updated: April 21, 2012 12:56PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Raffi Torres has been suspended 25 games by the NHL on Saturday for his vicious headshot on Marian Hossa in Game 3 of the Blackhawks’ first-round series with the Phoenix Coyotes.
If the full suspension is not served by the end of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining games will carry over to next season. It will cost Torres $21,341 in salary.
It is the longest ban by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in a suspension-filled postseason. It is tied for the second longest suspension in league history.
Although, the Phoenix Coyotes said they “accept” the NHL’s decision, the team’s general manager called the punishment “severe.”
“The ruling is very severe for Raffi and our hockey club. Raffi plays a hard, physical game yet this contact crossed the line on what is acceptable in our game today,” Don Maloney said in a statement Saturday. “We hope Marian Hossa makes a full and speedy recovery as we all enjoy watching him perform.”
On Tuesday, Torres skated half the length of the ice at the United Center midway through the first period in Game 3 to deliver the shoulder-to-head hit on Hossa.
Torres left his skates during the collision, which came exactly a year to the day when, as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, he used his shoulder to deliver a hit to the head of Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in Game 3 of the Hawks-Canucks first-round series in 2011 playoffs.
Hossa lay motionless on the ice for several minutes following the hit before being taken off in a stretcher. He was taken in an ambulance to the hospital before being released a few hours later.
Torres called the hit “just a hockey play” after Game 3. He was not penalized on the play but was suspended indefinitely Wednesday pending his in-person hearing with Shanahan on Friday.
Hossa missed Game 4 for the Hawks and did not travel with the team to Arizona for Game 5.
Hossa has been texting teammates since leaving the hospital but Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Friday there was no change in the star winger’s condition.
Even before the hit on Hossa, Torres had a history of high hits and suspensions:
-- 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 that included two playoff games for elbowing Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5, 2011.
Torres was received a minor penalty for his hit on Seabrook in last year’s playoffs. Seabrook suffered a concussion on the play, but Torres was not suspended.