Raffi Torres has been suspended for 25 games for this hit on Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Western Conference Quarterfinals between Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks:
According to Brendan Shanahan, Torres committed three different penalties while delivering the hit — interference (he finished the check past the appropriate length of time that it would be legal to commit the check), charging (he left his feet to deliver the hit), and illegal check to the head (he made Hossa’s head the principal point of contact).
Yet, there was no penalty on the ice from any of the officials. Oh, okay.
Two other factors played into the length of Torres’ suspension:
- The play caused a “severe” injury to Hossa. The fact that Shanahan used the word “severe” gives me pause. I’m going to guess that he probably has a concussion, due to the circumstances of the hit and how it was treated afterward (according to Chris Kuc, he was released shortly after he arrived at the hospital — you can treat a concussion as well at home as you can there). I’m not a doctor or anything, though, so don’t quote me on that.
- Torres has been fined or suspended multiple times for hits similar to this one (including twice this season), making him a repeat offender. The suspension video then goes on to show some of these hits — all to the head. And people keep giving him money to play for their teams. Amazing.
If Torres does not serve the entirety of the games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he will serve the remainder of his suspension during the 2012-13 season. He also won’t be eligible for any preseason games. For the entire suspension video, click here.
His 25-game suspension makes it one of the longest suspensions in NHL history. (The Globe And Mail) Of course, I’m more than okay with the length of the suspension — it’s not so much that he took out Hossa, but that he’s done it before and hasn’t shown that he learned from it. Maybe this time, it’ll get through his thick skull.