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.
Apr 21, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Spearing has been a hot topic in the early stages of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Apr 21, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT
First playoff game at Nationwide in five years tonight.
Apr 21, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Columbus comes home after a game of franchise firsts in Pittsburgh.
Apr 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
John Gibson and Sami Vatanen on their way down.
Apr 21, 2014, 10:24 AM EDT
Maybe he was a big fan of donuts.
Apr 21, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT
They’re a young team that isn’t intimidated.
Apr 21, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT
Columbus and Dallas host playoff games for first time in years.
Apr 21, 2014, 2:19 AM EDT
This has happened a few times in these playoffs.
Apr 21, 2014, 1:56 AM EDT
Apr 21, 2014, 1:28 AM EDT
This one could’ve gotten uglier than it did.
Apr 21, 2014, 12:47 AM EDT
Took this game over in the second period.
Apr 21, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT
Patrick Roy: “We’re going to be very smart about when he’s going to come back.”
Apr 20, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
Apr 20, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
Was shaken up after taking a knee to the head.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT
Just another game between these two California rivals.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:34 PM EDT
Jon Cooper straddles the line between snarky and careful.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
Tough breaks for Tampa Bay.
Apr 20, 2014, 9:28 PM EDT
Remarkable … and risky?
Apr 20, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT
Kings hope to avoid two straight years of 0-2 first-round deficits.
Apr 20, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT
Tampa Bay’s captain managed to return later in the game.
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