The remainder of suspension that Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes was given for injuring Marian Hossa from the Chicago Blackhawks has been reduced from 12 to eight games.
He had been handed a 25-game suspension in April during the Western Conference quarterfinals for a late hit on Hossa that concussed him and ended his playoff run early. As the Coyotes made their run to the Western Conference final, eventually losing to the Los Angeles Kings, Torres was no part of it for 13 games.
He decided to appeal the ruling in May through the National Hockey League Players Association and went above disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan‘s head, right to his boss, commissioner Gary Bettman.
When Torres decided to appeal his ruling, it created the potential for interesting precedent about the nature of NHL discipline, which is so insular and kept ‘all in the family,’ if you will, that most players just don’t even bother to try appealing their suspensions. They don’t like having to appeal right to their boss and may jockey for a change to that in the new collective bargaining agreement.
This was also the first appeal in the Shanahan era and Torres built it around the idea of challenging the consistency in discipline.
To an extent, it worked since he was able to bargain down to what will equal a 21-game suspension.
The balance of eight games left on this suspension means that Torres will miss any Coyotes preseason games (none are on the team’s website yet) and eight regular-season games.