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Top 2012: Torres gets 25 games

Dec 25, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

The 2012 playoffs had more than their fair share of controversial hits, but none sparked more emotions than Raffi Torres‘ blow to the head of Marian Hossa in Game 3 of the Phoenix Coyotes’ first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks:

Hossa was diagnosed with a concussion and was only recently medically cleared to play. But in the immediate aftermath of the hit, it remained to be seen how rookie disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan would react.

A suspension seemed all-but inevitable, even though Torres wasn’t assessed a penalty on the play. TSN’s Bob McKenzie called the hit “illegal on so many levels.”

“It is charging,” McKenzie said. “It is interference (late). It is a targeted head shot where he launches upward. The hit caused significant injury. The player (Torres) is a repeat offender in every sense of the term.”

Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy even weighed in, calling Torres’ actions “borderline criminal.”

Shanahan ended up making an example out of Torres by handing him a precedent-setting 25-game suspension that, thanks to the lockout, still hasn’t been fully served.

Here’s Shanahan’s explanation of his initial decision:

Of course, that’s not the end of the story. While the NHL-owned Coyotes supported Shanahan’s decision, the NHLPA rose to Torres’ defense, claiming that the length of the suspension was “excessive and arbitrary.”

The union even reportedly asserted that Torres’ hearing “violated the very basic requirements of a fair process.”

The NHLPA appeal went to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who ultimately decided to reduce Torres’ suspension by four games. That means that there’s only eight contests left on his punishment when you factor in the 13 playoff games that he’s already missed.

Torres was getting ready to go into this season with the goal of trying to change his ways. Someday this lockout will end, he’ll serve what’s left on his suspension, and then get that chance.

  1. paledevil - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    One thing is 4 sure… Any player that takes the ice with Torres better hope he is in a good mood #holdontoyourhead
    The question does the game winning goal matter more than the ability to walk or speak…

  2. blomfeld - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    “ZIP IT” Shanahan you irrelevant fem !

    I’ll say it again friends. And that is that there is but “one” answer for the bully or thug. And that is for the same “pain and trauma” to be exacted upon “he” who so gleefully saw fit to behave in such a depraved manner in the first place! The bully or thug understands only one thing. And that is to “get it” himself square in the chops! These people who think it’s their right to cause upset among “the people” have only but one right. And that is the right to have their own miserable heads squashed under the “heel of decency”! I know that we’re not supposed to speak that way, especially today as we celebrate the birthday of probably the world’s “nicest” guy ever. But to hell with that, as I say bullies and thugs should be engaged and destroyed “wherever” and “whenever” possible! For those of you who are fellow naval historians like me, you will be only too familiar with the old “Nelsonian” doctrine of “never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at ‘em!”

  3. sampulls - Dec 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Not a fan of Torres, but I have to admit…he got screwed with this suspension….5 games was way too much.

  4. sampulls - Dec 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    25

  5. jhuck92 - Dec 25, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    That Really was the turning point of the series. After a hit like that, Torres deserved to be out as long as Hossa. Rome’s suspect hit during the Canucks-Bruins series in 2011 was the same type of situation.

  6. ironmike778 - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    “Rome’s SUSPECT hit”???? Suspect?? LMAO. There was nothing suspect about it. It was a blatant cheap shot that Horton is still paying for. Dirty as hell.

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