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In surprising news, Phoenix GM now regrets his “murdered a busload of children” comment

Apr 26, 2012, 6:42 PM EDT

Don Maloney Getty Images

Given the media frenzy that followed Raffi Torres‘ hit on Marian Hossa, it wasn’t surprising when Coyotes general manager Don Maloney publicly defended Torres and tried to deflect some of the scrutiny.

The way he went about it, though — that was pretty surprising.

“You would think Raffi murdered a busload of children the way he’s portrayed here in Chicago,” Maloney said at the time. “[The] outcry on so many different fronts is over the top.”

While he was probably going on the notion that “everybody loves a good child killing joke,” Maloney later realized his comment was in poor taste. Yesterday, he expressed regret about the remark.

“I was really embarrassed to be honest,” he told the Arizona Republic. “I didn’t think about it much and when I saw it in print … I just didn’t feel good. It wasn’t funny. It was inappropriate, and I was embarrassed.”

Maloney’s comment was the last negative thing the Coyotes organization issued following the Torres-Hossa incident. The club even went so far as to post this on the team website:

“I want to thank Brendan Shanahan and his staff for their thorough review of this incident,” said Maloney. “The ruling is very severe for Raffi and our Hockey Club. Raffi plays a hard, physical game yet this contact crossed the line on what is acceptable in our game today. We hope Marian Hossa makes a full and speedy recovery as we all enjoy watching him perform. The Club accepts the NHL’s decision.”

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