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Shanahan has all he needs to throw the book at Torres

Apr 18, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan Getty Images

If there’s ever been a layup suspension, Brendan Shanahan’s got one in Raffi Torres.

On second thought, maybe slam-dunk is a better metaphor than layup. Because let’s face it, if he so chooses, Shanahan could tomahawk jam and shatter the backboard with the Coyotes forward who sent Marian Hossa to the hospital last night.

Torres is a multiple repeat offender (James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail calls him a “rerererepeat offender”) that nobody’s going to feel sorry for if Shanahan errs on the side of harsh in his ruling.

Of course, that would open up another avenue of criticism for the embattled league disciplinarian, as there will be those who say he only throws the book at non-essential players. But the alternative, that being leniency, would be far worse for the NHL’s reputation. Suffice to say the media would have a field day with that.

The biggest challenge for Shanahan will be to hand out what he considers a just sentence in the face of so many screaming bloody murder, because you could easily argue there have been worse offenses this season than what we saw last night.

In fact, according to’s Michael Grange, one NHLer thought Torres’ hit was “clean, if a bit late.”

Nor was Torres’ hit premeditated like, say, Duncan Keith’s elbow on Daniel Sedin.

And what’s Hossa’s prognosis? Yes, he went to the hospital, but was he actually seriously hurt? We still don’t know. (Update: Hossa will miss Game 4.)

At this point, it’s impossible to say how long Torres will be suspended. Which come to think of it, might perfectly illustrate the NHL’s problem.

Related: At least Brendan Shanahan has Gary Bettman’s support

  1. govtminion - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    At this point, who knows what Shanahan will do here. If the call comes in that Torres doesn’t get any time off but Hossa gets a game off for diving, I wouldn’t be too shocked. It’s that level of chaos and confusion from him at this point.

    • lsxphotog - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Shanahan fines Hossa for hitting the ice.

      • michiganhockey11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM


  2. hockeyflow33 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I can’t be the only person sick of the Shanny bashing can I? Everyone complained when Campbell was doing it and now the complaining is ten times worse with Shanny there. Of course he isn’t going to get every call correct but I think he’s done a good job with his video explanations and his overall punishments.

    • wingsdjy - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Complaints are up because Shanny’s been touting that he’s here to fix what was broken. He brought the visibility on himself.

      • michiganhockey11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        As long as the punishment remains inconsistent (which it will remain so if they punish based on results), it won’t matter who is dishing out the discipline.

      • Playing the Ponzi - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        I agree with wings. Shanny came out crackin the whip to start the season. He was going to punish the wicked, regardless of their star power. He was going to level punishment consistently.

        I think the angst is a result of the hope for change that pre-dated it. If next season is a repeat of this, there will be less angst. Hope for change will already have been quelled by this post-season.

    • hawkeytown - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      He got off to a good start by trying to eliminate the head shots which threaten to kill the game. He needs to stay firm and uniform in his punishment of these career threatening hits. Don’t look at the calendar (pe-season, regular season, playoffs) and let that dictate the severity of the punishment. it’s the inconsistency that is his undoing. Case in point: still waiting on the Sedin hearing for the head shot to Keith that started that mess

      • baritone49 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        Bingo, Hawkeytown! D. Sedin SMASHED Keith’s head into the glass with his elbow unprovoked. If the refs don’t do their job, the players will! And Keith did. He got punished for it, and D. Sedin did not. Just another in a long, long line of favoritism showed toward the Vancouver Ca-thugs.

  3. skezskoz - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Considering its almost the exact same hit as the one Neal laid on Couturier, he should get nothing right? Oh right, Couturier got up, Hossa didnt. Totally different scenario. That seems well thought out.

    • th86cj7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      Thank you. Exact same hit as Neal, except Neal then went head hunting AGAIN after Giroux and got ONE game! ONE game! Torres is scum and this was awful but just because Hossa is hurt doesnt mean what Neal did isnt 20 times worse. Its about intent not result. Whats worse, attempted murder or assault?

      • baritone49 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Actually, th, you should say “attempted murder or murder”.

        And ummm, oh! ooops. Actually murder is punished MUCH more harshly than attempted murder. So maybe results are important in the law and should be important in hockey discipline.

  4. drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    The last time someone got hit in the head because their head was down, we all lambasted the guy for skating with his head down. Why should this one be much different? Torres came in a little bit late, but not much (many, many clean hits in these playoffs have been delivered with the timing Torres used). Yes, he left his feet, but only slightly. Now, with his history, you could get him on attempt to injure, and I wouldn’t really disagree. But I just don’t understand how this hit is so much worse than what Carkner or Neal have done. If Hossa had his head up, we wouldn’t even be talking about it.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Want to respond, instead of just downthumbing?

      • hawkeytown - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        ..hit him late, but only slightly
        …left his feet, but only slightly
        …targeted the head, but only slightly
        …injured/knocked out a star player, but only slightly
        …has done this numerous times before, but only slightly

    • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      drew, how did you feel about Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton? You don’t feel that this is a similar type of hit?

      • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        Yep, same type of hit.

    • sharks123 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Little late but, off his feet but only slightly. It was late and he came off his feet. There are no butts to me with this hit. And it was high. The biggest thing is it was the same asshole that keeps doing these hits. Just like this hit there was no penalty. Rediculous.

    • crmgoodness - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      No thumbs down but I’m going to agree and disagree with you. I agree that other than the resulting injury this is almost identical to Neal’s hit. Neal should have received at least a game and probably more for his hit. Torres is late enough that it’s not ok to blame the player for having his head down or not expecting to be hit viciously. With regard to leaving his feet, it doesn’t matter if his blades come up 1/2 inch or a foot…the point is he is thrusting up to inflict more damage and with equally sized players it doesn’t take much to change the point of contact from the chest to the head as he did in this case. With the lateness and the jumping Torres defines the word “predatory” when used in these supplemental hearings. He’s made a habit of seeking out defenseless or unsuspecting players with hits and it is time that he be made to answer for it.

      Here’s one from earlier this year that probably explains why he turtles now after delivering a cheap shot…I know it’s little consolation to Hawks fans, but try to enjoy.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Again, the amount of time between when Hossa releases the puck and when Torres hits him is the same amount of time that countless other hits have been delivered this series.

      • baritone49 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        Thanks, CRM. I’m trying to not be vindictive here, and I’m still apologizing to my wife and 9 yr-old kids for repeatedly screaming stuff at the TV like “Kill that little p-ant” loud enough to shake the house Tuesday night. I’m telling them violence is not the answer and guns plus anger like I had that night are what gets people killed.

        But watching that turd ball get tagged like that does bring a smile to my face. Too bad I didn’t seen what Bollig did to him. Thanks.

    • Playing the Ponzi - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      I agree with you, drew. The Torres wasn’t particularly bad, imho. It was an overly aggressive hockey play. Hossa had the puck a fraction of a second before he got hit. Torres (and Hossa!) just had the bad luck that Hossa got hurt. The hit itself wasn’t any worse than has happened 10 times in the playoffs already.

      I think the Weber and Carkner incidents were 20x worse (more malicious and unrelated to hockey) than Torres’ hit.

      As an aside, I recognize that Torres is a head-hunter and an ice ass. He was definitely trying to drill Hossa (which I don’t believe equals intent to injure). Hossa is a class act and it’s tragic he was hurt. Hopefully he can return in this series and has no lingering issues. But all that said, I don’t think the hit itself (imagine Lindstrom delivered it) was too malicious.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        Exactly what I’ve been thinking.

      • baritone49 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Fine, you think the other hits were worse? The answer is stronger suspensions for Shea Weber and the other thugs, not letting that little cretin continue to be a time bomb on the ice.

        Torres should be gone forever, Weber should be out at least as long as Keith was. Daniel Sedin should be out longer for delivering a nastier blow to Keith that prompted Keith’s repayment. Chara should have been out for at least 10 games, but what do they do? They make him All-Star team captain the next year! Now that was evil.

        And they should pay Adam McQuade for beating the tar out of Torres!

    • habsman - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Downthumbs really bother drew (aka redrews, sabatimus). Please stop people.

  5. mehetmet - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Thumbs up if you come here just to thumb down drew!

  6. mhazz84 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Best punishment for Torres: Free pass to any blackhawk for any penalty on Raffi Torres for the rest of the series.

  7. dougyfresh9981 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Terrible what happened to Hossa and hopefully he’s ok, but I don’t see how Torres can get more games than Asham. Torres was trying to make a hockey play, although late and high. Asham cross checks a guy in the throat and then punches him when he’s laying on the ice injured all in retaliation with the puck nowhere near Schenn. Torres should absolutely be suspended but Shanahan will have it wrong if Torres gets more than Asham.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      That’s the trap. Just because you screwed up a past suspension, you shouldn’t continue to screw up future ones.

  8. johnnyru131 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    @Drew, seriously he barely left his feet? What the hell video are you watching? Must be the same video Shanahan will be watching! First he left his feet, but let’s say he didn’t, he still hit Hossa on the chin! THAT’S A HEAD SHOT! If Torres doesn’t LEAP his shoulder hits Hossa on the shoulder, FACT. It had nothing to do with his head being down, if his head was up he still gets hit in the face because Torres LEAPED. You are delusional. FACT.

    • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      I thought he left his feet when he hit Hossa as well. But look at the replay again. It’s more of a launch into Hossa rather than a leap. Two separate actions? Possibly. Compare Torres’ hit to Neal’s hits on Couturier and Giroux. It’s still an illegal hit and a little late (not by much), but I’m not defending Torres’ actions.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM


  9. johnnyru131 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Drew, he didn’t “barely” leave his feet! You are delusional.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      I can’t tell you how to watch a replay….

  10. rtrmusic - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Let’s go over the checklist shall we? Is he Matt Cooke? No. Play’s for Lemiuex? No. Couple with the fact, was it worse than Weber? NO. Therefore, he will be fined.

  11. bigmike60 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Simple solution here. A reasonable suspension of a couple of games, but not to start running until Hossa skates again in a game. They should do that with all the thuggery hits and cheap shots. You don’t play again until the opponent is able to,plus a few games on top of that.

    And Crosby is a jerk. Suffering constant concussion problems for months and then getting into/instigating fights where he might get cold-cocked again? Stupid.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      That’s a slippery slope. It’s even worse than basing a penalty on whether or not the player is apparently injured.

  12. lameasish - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I think drew spews (lol) all the stuff he does because he’s trying to sound tough. It was a dirty hit and you know it. Internet tough guy, you are lame.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Excuse me? Who TF are you? To quote Bender: I’m telling the truth, @$$hole–I’d expect you to know the difference.

      And I don’t think you know what internet tough guy means.

      • habsman - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Drew has a masters degree in ass h*le. He told us so a couple of months ago.

        Congrats Drew.

  13. dirtydog57 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Your all missing the Point!! The mighty dollar is what counts. Everyone in this system of hockey is there to produce money. The referees , Shanny, the players, coaches etc. What gives the best ratings. Read your own comments. Everyone is pumped: which makes more people watch or go to games which produces more revenue. Do you think they want the violence to stop!!!!!!

  14. clavette - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    If torres hadn’t left his feet he could have laid a brutal but clean hit on hossa. Theres no one to blame but himself. Stupid on his part especially as a repeat offender. He’s a good player but he does this crap all the time. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if its 5-10 games

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