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Toews doesn’t expect Hossa back soon, Bettman says Torres hit will be reviewed

Apr 18, 2012, 1:17 AM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

Jonathan Toews is generally described as a great player, a fantastic Chicago Blackhawks captain and something of a cliche machine. Yet when it comes to the Raffi Torres hit on Marian Hossa, he had a few very frank and interesting things to say.

Perhaps most importantly, Toews gave Adam Jahns an honest but far-from-shocking update on Hossa.

“We don’t expect him back anytime soon,” Toews said. “That was a scary thing to go through.”

When asked for his take on the Torres hit and how the NHL will address the situation, Toews exhibited a serious sense of exhaustion. It seemed like he fell somewhere between Joel Quenneville’s fury and Patrick Kane‘s diplomacy. Jahns provided some interesting quotes here, too.

Toews on a possible suspension for Torres: “I don’t [know] what to expect anymore. I don’t think anyone does.”

(That’s kind of a sick burn for Brendan Shanahan, huh?) NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand for the game tonight. He didn’t go into much detail, but Chris Kuc reports that Bettman said that the league will review the play.

As far as how Torres will conduct his business in the future, Toews probably captured the haggard thoughts of many hockey fans again:

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to do something like that again,” Toews said.

We’ll find out soon enough if Torres will get a chance to do it again in Game 4.

  1. charliereno - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Toews just nailed the sentiment that every REAL hockey fan is feeling, no matter who they root for.

  2. johngaltx - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    It is getting to the point where I cannot stand to watch an NHL game. If I wanted to watch roller derby, or cage fighting I would, but these morons, and that includes Shanahan, Bettman and NHLPA, have let the sport disintegrate into a brutal display of win at any cost. In the NFL the bounty scandal showed how far up the ladder the thuggery has gotton, but hockey players are taught from early on to “finish their checks” and that is exactly what Torres used for reason for smashing into Hossa.

    Pretty bad when Shanahan has to explain why a player is banned. or not banned by parsing the stop action video of the hits in question one frame at a time, while waiting for the injury report tom come in. All the while the four seemingly blind, deaf and dumb refs have reverted back to old time hockey.

    I can predict when it will all stop, when they carry a player out in a body bag instead of a stretcher. To top it all off the guy that hit him will speak at his funeral and claim he was just “finishing” his check.

    • zach28 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      settle down nancy, if hossa didnt want to be hit, he shouldnt of stood there

      • effthenfl - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        Boy that’s about the dumbest comment I’ve seen in a while. I’m sure Hossa was “just standing there”. So if he was just standing there (without the puck) that means he deserved to get leveled like that. – Jesus you’re worse than Shanahan

      • zach28 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        hossa is an nhl player, granted a pretty bad one. he should watch the other players instead of stand and admire is his pass like a mite player. the suspension was TOTALLY unwarranted on torres #freeraffi

    • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:41 AM

      i’m not happy about it, but i have to agree with you man. just go back over the last four or five pages of PHT’s headlines, it’s easy to see what dictates the game. it saddens me deeply to say that i am beginning to feel embarrassed of being a hockey fan. there’s competitiveness, and then there’s ruthless thuggery. unfortunately it’s undeniable that the latter is starting to creep its way into most every game in every series. i blame brendan shanahan, as i have all season long, for never making examples of players when it needed to be done. given torres’ history, i personally don’t think that it’s unreasonable to want him never to play in the nhl again. unfortunately though, it looks more and more like someone will have to die before things change and the nhl starts taking its own “disciplinary action” seriously. i love this game, and think that the nhl is the greatest league in the world, but it has entered a dark era in some ways, and i for one am having a harder and harder time salvaging entertainment out of the ill-officiated games (and poorly handled post game suspension reviews) that seem to condone malicious and inexcusably reckless behavior. some big, big changes may be on the horizon….

    • henste11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:53 AM

      Unfortunatley you are probably right. I am a true hockey fan and hits like that are Bush League. I can’t wait to see what happens to Raffi. If he gets any less than 8 games it will be a travesty of justice. You are also right about the NHL higher ups. I just hope Coach Quinville dosen’t get fined for what he said. I guess the announcers are affraid of loosing their jobs for saying that Raffi left his skates to make a hit.But htis is the New NHL and the mystery will be answered some time tomorrow I guess?

      • tommytd - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:11 AM

        Bettman was at the game. Maybe Torres gets fined and extra $1000. LOL

    • tommytd - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:10 AM

      That’s why, in my opinion, hockey will always be a “second tier” professional sport. If I want to watch all this crap, I can tune in WWF. These morons running the NHL and the goons on the ice are ruining the sport.

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        Good, then don’t watch the games.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    Spoken like a true lawyer.

  4. kinnex - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Watch baseball if its too violent for you. Or soccer.

  5. henste11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Those of you who enjoy seeing players get hurt on a GUTLESS play from a player that to me is truley GUTLESS are MORONS, why don’t you stick to Pro Wrestling and the fake stuff it suits you

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      No one anywhere has said this was a clean hit or a good play. You’re taking a stance on a complete non-issue

  6. Doesnotmatter - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:41 AM

    yep, great. The Stanley Cup finals are going to be played by a bunch of 3rd and 4th liners because all the skilled players like Hossa will in the hospital.

  7. broadstbully33 - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    where’s the stories about how classless and childish the pens are?

    • raoool - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      that only comes up when there’s no other news. Everyone already knows how classless and childish the pens are.

  8. babar61 - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Can these playoffs go two days with a controversial game? I don’t ever remember playoffs being like this. The game has changed a lot….if Scott Stevens played today he would be suspended indefinitely.

  9. mojosmagic - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Shanahan is cluless. The only way this is going to change if the suspensions and fines are increased 5 fold. Coaches also should be held accountable. I predict seriously injured players after retirement will start filing lawsuits against the league.

  10. rtrmusic - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Really hoped the inconsistency would’ve been gone with Colin Campbell leaving. Now it is inconsistency except done in a fancier and explanatory way. 3 Pens suspended. Weber not. Torres – who knows with Shanny. Although Torres = Matt COoke.

  11. themohel - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I agree that the teams and coaches have to be part of the punishment. A case in point is Cooke; he acted like Torres until his team told him he has no future with them and he cleaned up his act big time this year. By doing nothing about their own players, the teams are giving implicit approval to the players. It will stop when there are no roster spots available to players like him.

    • billsin20xx - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      When Torres was a Sabre he was down right boring, I actually at first thought it was a difference Torres when all his antics started.

  12. billsin20xx - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    They need to set it up with 3 guys determining these punishments, with majority rules, not just a single person. I think it would help the consistency to have more than one opinion/review of each play.

    • eggserino - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      The problem is that the board of governors gets involved if they don’t like what Shanahan is doing. He started off tough, got flak from the board, backed off, and now we have a mess where it feels like he’s not so much making a decision as looking over his shoulder.

  13. eggserino - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    I am so tired of the NHL’s inconsistency as it relates to enforcing the rules of the game. I’m not a fan of either one of these teams, but it seems obvious that there was an illegal check. Torres left his feet.

    I understand that the game is fast, but you can’t miss calls like that. Additionally, how does Bettman guarantee that this will be reviewed for supplemental discipline? If no penalty was called, there has been no supplemental discipline review in the past.

    The NHL says they want clutching and grabbing out of the game. It creeps back in (maybe to slow gunners trying to check defensemen, but it’s all over the ice again). The NHL says it is taking head shots seriously. Really? Shea Weber? Brent Burns? TJ Galiardi? Now Raffi Torres?

    It almost seems like the NHL is using these types of hits as a way to garner media attention for the game. I heard someone say once, “no attention is bad attention for the NHL.” Is that the state of our game?

    The owners will never agree to fix the problem. The problem, very simply, is that the ice is too small for the speed and size of the players in today’s game. Make the ice bigger and it makes it harder to make that body check without opening up massive passing lanes/ give guys easier access through the ice. That will cost the owners money in attendance numbers.

    I’m tired of the constant rules tinkering. It confuses the players and the referees and disciplinarians look like idiots.

  14. bigdaddy44 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Suspensions need to be longer and very, very painful to any player who targets the head with a blindside hit. If you are going to attempt to ruin a player’s career, then your career should be equally at risk. Serial offender Torres needs to be made an example of. Start by suspending him for the rest of the playoffs. Then suspend him for HALF of next season. If he offends again, the punishment should begin at the same amount of games of his last suspension. Being in a contract year, Torres will be hard pressed to get a contract anywhere. Let’s see how tough these POS’s are when the ability to earn a living is taken away from THEM. For every Marc Savard out there, a Matt Cooke should not be on the ice anymore.
    These hits aren’t hockey. I grew up watching teams like the Bruins and Flyers in the 70’s and 80’s. Penalties, fights, bloody battle royales occured on a fairly frequent basis. There was dirty play, but most of the vilolence then was man to man. Rarely did you ever see what is becoming the norm right now in the NHL, cowards launching themselves into the heads of other players. What would a Bobby Clarke or a Terry O’Reilly done to Torres in a case like this? Torres would have gotten his head caved in. He would have deserved it. And the next coward in line would think twice, keep his skates on the ice and deliver a body check instead.

  15. jericoc - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I don’t see how the officials are blameless in this. There’s too much after-the-whistle stuff. One guy whacks another or face washes and nothing is called. Give that guy a two-minute Unsportsmanlike or Delay of Game, put the other team on a power play and then the nonsense will stop.

    Instead, the refs turn a blind eye (and enlist the linesmen to untangle guys) and the cycle repeats after every stoppage until it escalates to a dangerous cross-check, slash, or slew-foot; at which time the announcers, coaches and league office begin to offer up fake disdain and scorn.

  16. lsxphotog - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Crosby has ruined the NHL. I remember when we just enjoyed watching the games and injuries were viewed as major setbacks. Now it’s all drama because people EXPECT there to be major punishment. A defined system needs to be implemented with Shanny out of the mix entirely. One game to ALL illegal hits – I mean, if you start a fight in the last 5 minutes you get an automatic game so if you break a rule with your hit, why not the same one game suspension. Three games or more if there is sustained injury. For serious hits that are malicious or deliberate there should be suspensions that correlates with the amount of time the “victim” is out of play. I think that last one may change some player’s perspectives on head-hunting.

    I’m a lifetime hockey player and a lifetime fan. My father has been a fan for much longer and he agrees that the league has turned into a madhouse because of the expectations resting on every hit of the game. We’re worried they’ll reduce hitting, and that’s NOT what we want. We just want scumbags out of the league and players to learn how to hit. The league should really hold a mandatory school on how to hit every year because there are players out there in the NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE who can’t lay out a clean hit. Fricken unbelievable.

    Rant off/ Best of luck to Hossa. I hope we will see him again this series.

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