In the first period of Tuesday’s game, Torres launched himself into a vulnerable Hossa, throwing his shoulder into his head. Hossa had to be carried off of the ice on a stretcher, and there is still no timetable for his return.
Torres on the other hand, did not receive a penalty of any kind. Despite four officials being on the ice, and one appearing to look directly at it, no one saw the hit, and Torres didn’t get a penalty.
There were those on the Coyotes side of things who said it was a “hockey play”, including Torres himself. Tyson Nash called the hit clean on the broadcast, while Coyotes general manager Don Maloney decided to make himself look really silly, saying that “you would think Raffi murdered a busload of children with the way he’s portrayed here in Chicago.”
Despite the comments coming from the Phoenix side, most assumed that Brendan Shanahan would throw the book at Torres and make an example out of him. And he did.
Shanahan suspended Torres 25 games for the hit, with Game 4 counting as the first game of the suspension, as he was suspended indefinitely. In his explanation video, he says that Torres violated three different rules and takes into account his brutal history.
It’s that history that did him in more than anything on this. Torres’ history goes back to his days with the Vancouver Canucks, which includes a check to the head of Brent Seabrook, which didn’t earn him a suspension in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s been described as “hockey’s biggest punk” and is now paying for it.
And rightfully so. His previous suspensions and fines haven’t done the job. Let’s see if a suspension of this magnitude forces Torres to change his game, or he can find another sport to play. I wonder if the NHL will also hold its officials accountable for not calling anything on the ice.
You can see the video explanation for the suspension below: