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Report: Torres, NHLPA to appeal 25-game suspension

May 3, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

torresgetty Getty Images

According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres and the National Hockey League Players Association will appeal his 25-game suspension for hitting Chicago’s Marian Hossa.

(Sportsnet’s Darren Millard notes the appeal challenges suspension length, not the suspension itself.)

The ban was issued on Apr. 21 by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan and later that day, Torres released a statement through the NHLPA stating he would “take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.”

Shortly thereafter, Brough wrote the following:

The risk for the PA should it decide to appeal is considerable. For the past two weeks, the NHL has been lambasted by fans and media for its failure to apply tough justice. An appeal would put the union right in the same cross-hairs. And with the upcoming CBA negotiations, the last thing it’ll want to do is get on the wrong side of the public.

The NHLPA walks a very fine line in these situations. On the one hand, it’s obligated to defend members who it feels are treated unfairly by the league. In the Torres case, the word “scapegoat” comes to mind.

On the other hand, what about Hossa? Isn’t he a member as well?

Torres has already missed six games and since the Coyotes can’t be eliminated before Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal, he’s guaranteed to miss at least another three — bringing his minimum number of games served to nine.

Like all appeals, Torres’ will be heard by league commissioner Gary Bettman.

  1. comeonnowguys - May 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Good luck with that. Or not. Maybe spend the time learning how not hit the exact same way that keeps getting you suspended.

  2. phillyphever - May 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    What? I thought the deadline passed to challenge the suspension.

  3. obamablowz - May 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Same exact play Neal did to Couturier in Flyers/Penguins series. Should be exact penalty…ONE GAME

    • comeonnowguys - May 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      They got the Torres call right. Neal? Not so much. I hope that’s where you were going with that.

      • obamablowz - May 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        The 25 games suspension is for the result, not the hit. If Hossa get up and goes to the bench like Couturier does, maybe 1 game. I’m sick of the result of the cheap shot determining the suspension time.

      • comeonnowguys - May 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        It’s not the result, or even the hit. It’s the guy.

    • jpelle82 - May 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      not even close. he hit couteriere in the chest, watch the video dummy. pretty good acting job too.

      • obamablowz - May 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        The same exact hit…..Torress hit him with his shoulder in his chest also. Both cheap shots, both had same intentions, both deserve the same suspension.

    • islandersfan - May 3, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Disagree sorry, even if you say same exact hit (I disagree but, for the sake of argument…) Torres history played into it bigtime here. This season alone he had a number of meetings with the league, fines and I believe a suspension – never mind fines and suspensions from the previous years.

      Neal doesn’t have that same reputation by any stretch. You can make a reasonable argument that hits themselves are the similar (again slight disagreement there but it is a reasonable argument) but the punishments due should be different due to Torres history as a repeat offender

  4. nobandwagoners - May 3, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    No doubt that Torres deserved a suspension. But 25 games is a little excessive, notwithstanding his ‘repeat offender’ status. It was reckless, crossed the line of what is now deemed an acceptable way to deliver a legal bodycheck and led to injury. But to equate it with a deliberate intent to injure type offence? I was expecting more in the range of 15 games.

    • mb65dod - May 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      I can’t say I feel sorry for the guy. The NHL does not need players like that…

    • comeonnowguys - May 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Honestly, given the inconsistent nature of punishments over the past few months, I think I would normally find 25 games a bit much.

      But he is a repeat offender. And most of his major hits, including some he should have but didn’t get suspended for, are near identical.

      He’s on the level of Matt Cooke. Sadly, I’m not sure he’s capable of cleaning up his game like Cooke did.

  5. ron05342 - May 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Excessive, my ass. This POS is never going to learn unless he gets enough time off to wake up and smell the coffee.

    • tommytd - May 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      He’s dirty and he’s bad for the league. I wish they would have DOUBLED the suspension or banished him from the league. POS is too nice a term for this moron.

  6. juzzi7 - May 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    If this suspension gets shorter than what it originally was planned to be, that would be HUGE disrespectful act towards one of the classiest player in the NHL, Marian Hossa.

  7. GenoPringles - May 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Gerioux should be suspended still for his head shot on soupcan Sid in game 6. That hit was much worse than this. Yet the NHL keeps sticking it to the franchise. Can’t keep the Soupcan down forever. Just like Jesus, he will rise again

    • pepper2011 - May 3, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      you should probably learn how to spell the best player in the leagues name. Giroux – and that’s coming from a Bruins fan. The fact the Sid didn’t whine about it for weeks should prove it was a clean hit. Torres is useless- Sort of rooting for Phoenix now; just so that guy can’t be a part of it – teach him a real lesson.

      • wingsdjy - May 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        Sadly, he’d still get his name on the cup…

  8. jimw81 - May 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    People are underestimating Donald Fehr in this entire process.

    • tommytd - May 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Give him time…he’ll take the nuclear option!

      • jimw81 - May 4, 2012 at 1:04 AM

        Fehr was apart of MLB union that successfully won an collusion case vs MLB. Doesnt anyone think he’s looking at that cba looking for anything that can take bettman out of the process of being the judge of Torres suspension. Everyone knows Weber Hit, Neal Hit and other hits similar that wasnt call into question by the league will be used against them.

    • comeonnowguys - May 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Oh, I don’t underestimate Donald Fehr’s ability to ruin anything. Hope you savor the waning games of this season.

  9. jordthekid - May 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    That hit was awesome.

  10. mathpete13 - May 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Bad apples are bad apples…enjoy your suspension. Last time I checked Sid was still playing…WAIT, I FORGOT! LOLOL!!!1

  11. ray2013 - May 3, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    This is as clear a case of conflict-of-interest as can be. Torres got 25 games, and will lose up to a quarter of his salary next season from this suspension, so the PA has to support him. But at the same time, Hossa is also a PA member, and who knows if or when he will be back, it might be six months, it might be a year. He might decide to retire if therapy doesn’t go well. We don’t know. Someone should be speaking for him.

    This is where the NHL and the NHLPA need to come to an agreement on a more standardized fine and suspension system. It would reduce complaints about supplementary justice by Shanahan, and take away an actual conflict of interest for the PA; having to defend an offender and represent a victim at the same time. It would also provide certainty to supplementary justice; Torres is a repeat offender, he needs time added to his suspension.

  12. thehighcountrybear - May 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    The appeal will be round one in coming CBA negotiations: the foundation of the Union argument will be the disparity in discipline rulings including all current head shot hits resulting in suspensions or no suspensions, followed by Exhibit A, the favorable ruling given Shea ‘kid turnbuckle’ Weber. Torres, obviously guilty and a repeat offender, was penalized outside of current context of head shot hit rulings. The whole debacle makes one wonder if the process as it has unfolded was simply orchestrated to stage debate on the matters in CBA negotiations, and through debate, force distinct and clear language as foundation in rulings defining both act and penalty. Battle lines are being drawn so get used to hearing Torres’ and Weber’s names for a spell yet…

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