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Torres suspended for remainder of Western Conference semifinals

May 16, 2013, 6:33 PM EDT

San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended a minimum of three and maximum of six games for his hit on Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll during Game 1 of the Sharks-Kings Western Conference semifinal.

In an unique ruling, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety chose to suspend Torres for the remainder of the second playoff round, rather than a fixed number of games.

(Unique, but not precedent-setting: Matt Cooke was suspended for the first round of the 2011 playoffs.)

As for the reasoning behind the decision?

“Rather than hit Stoll through the core of his body, Torres take a route that makes Stoll’s head the principal point of contact,” discipline czar Brendan Shanahan explained. “Although we agree that Torres might make initial contact with Stoll’s shoulder, that is a glancing blow.

“In fact, the head is the principal point of contact.”

Shanahan also noted that, if Torres wants to make a hit in this situation, he needs to “take a route that ensures he hits through the core of [Stoll’s] body.” Torres’ history as a repeat offender also played into the decision.

Here’s the full video explanation:

The hit, which occurred with less than a minute remaining in the second period, netted Torres a two-minute charging minor.

After the game, San Jose head coach Todd McLellan disagreed with the call, saying Torres’ hit wasn’t illegal.

“Clean hit,” McLellan told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. “Wasn’t even a charging penalty, in my opinion.”

Stoll left the game after the hit and didn’t return for the third period. He was held out of Thursday’s Game 2.

As for Torres, he was of the same mindset as McLellan.

“I didn’t really think it was even going to be a penalty,” he said to CSN Bay Area. “They called it charging, I don’t think I launched myself. I took a step and a half, and glided into him.

“Obviously he was leaning over, and I still feel like I got a shoulder to his shoulder, and then it kind of looked because he was leaning over that I came up a little high. I didn’t even think it was going to be a penalty, but I hope he’s alright.”

Torres’ disciplinary history is well documented.

He was suspended 25 games (reduced to 21) for hitting Chicago’s Marian Hossa during last year’s playoffs and, prior to that, suspended for charging Minnesota’s Nate Prosser (two games) and elbowing Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle (four games).

UPDATE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie points out that, if the series goes seven games, Torres will have served a six game suspension — and under the new CBA, suspensions of six games or more can be appealed to an independent arbitrator.


On hitting players with their heads down

Kings coach Sutter calls Torres hit ‘careless’

Dustin Brown: Winning is best revenge for Raffi Torres hit

  1. kingsfan68 - May 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Good I’m glad this pos is gone for the rest of the series, he should have got more. …

    • imleftcoast - May 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      I called it.

  2. no - May 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    yeah I don’t care if Torres gets suspended 40 game for touching the ice. the more time he’s out, the better

  3. stockspyder - May 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Huge blow to the depth for the Sharks, they will need a better effort after struggling even strength against the Kings in Game 1.

    Pavelski moving up and Gomez centering the third line drastically changes this team’s depth. It’s time to put the big boy skates on, no more excuses.

    Go Sharks

    • sharksman - May 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      couldn’t agree more
      Go Sharks !

    • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Their primary advantage against the Canucks was their PP efficiency, and I agree they will need to be better 5 on 5 to compete. It does change the make up of the lines as you mentioned, especially with Havlat not back yet. That’s why you get a guy like Gomez though (who I wouldn’t have mined us getting) so I wouldn’t quite categorize it as a huge blow to the Sharks depth – especially when you consider Stoll’s out on the other side at this point.

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      “Huge blow…for the Sharks..?” Really. I had no idea Torres was such an important piece of the team. If San Jose is that dependent on a goon then maybe their chances weren’t as good as I thought.

      • kitshky - May 16, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        …or maybe he’s not just “a goon” and was actually one of the most sought after players at the trade deadline?

  4. loinstache - May 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Agree with the suspension but not the length. You had to figure he’d get something as it was a borderline hit, he’s a repeat offender and not a star, not that I agree with those conditions. That said there were obviously far more predatory hits that were passed over.

    • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      I’d agree with that. I can see their reasoning but if it was some joe shmo it might be a game or two. Being a repeat offender has to have some affect though, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by a potential of 6 games.

  5. btlpper68 - May 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    This is all abt reputation

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Or the utter lack of a good one.

    • getadealdonealready - May 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      And that he is not a “Star”. Not a sharks fan, but in general would like to see more consistency with the suspensions and penalties.

      You slow the video down and it’s easy to say what the anticipated point of contact is/will be, but the game is not played in slow motion it’s played at high speed, in the video you can see stoll sees him at the last minute, that minute reaction could have changed the point of contact drastically. While I agree that a suspension is warranted I just don’t see this being consistent with other penalties handed down by the league.

  6. ethanmacleod1685 - May 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM


    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      The B’s are on another thread.

      • ethanmacleod1685 - May 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        As in bull sh*t

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    dt58, where are you? How can this be so. Thronton knows more than anybody because he plays hockey in the NHL. Stool should have kept his head up. Right? Hehehe. Principal point of contact. Way to go dt58. You and jumbo are both made of the same cloth. Except he plays in the NHL and you in te EA NHL. Whatever that is.

    • sabatimus - May 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Ok, responding to trolls is one thing. Lamenting that they’re not here is beyond my comprehension.

    • dt58 - May 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Sorry dude, I was busy but it’s nice to be missed. Never once did I say he wouldn’t get suspended, I actually said he would. My comment was about not agreeing with it. Not a fan of either team nor was I a fan of Mon or Ott and I didn’t agree with Gryba getting suspended either. My point was that Shanny and his random punishments are turning this into a powder-puff league full of favorites. And judging by alot of the comments on here, I’m not the only one who thinks so

  8. sharksman - May 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Its now official stars get no suspensions and raffi looses a series complete bs
    He hit his shoulder first and stoll can see it coming (in the video above)
    I get that you hit the head you get suspended but this is bs
    should have been a game at most but because it is raffi he gets a series
    I thought the Marleau hit looked worse
    Just sayin they have been a lot worse hits from “star” players that have went uncalled (it is ok to cross check a ref) and because it is Raffi he gets the shaft
    Reminds me of the Mcginn calls of a few years ago

    • blackhawksdynasty - May 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      While I can’t come to terms w/ Shanny and his logic (or lack there of) this has nothing to do w/ being a “star” player. You know as well as the rest of us that Torres is a dirty player. Doesn’t matter if he’s on your favorite team or not. His history speaks for itself. Play the game the right way and you won’t get suspended. Simple as that. I cant believe so called “fans” can show any type of support for this piece of crap. Get him the hell out of the league. Time for the NHL to step up and make an example of a known headhunter.

      • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        The only thing I can figure is that those defending Torres must have made some bets on the Sharks upsetting the Kings. When you go so far as completely mangling/misrepresenting what the video clearly shows you know you’re living in a bubble of denial. It’s as though they’re claiming a Lady Byng finalist just slipped up in a totally innocent way. I’d laugh my ass off if it wasn’t for the fact Torres knocked one of our centers out of the game.

      • sharksman - May 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        I agree he has been really bad in the past but if you watched him this year he has changed his game (since you are a hawks fan you should have noticed)
        1 year ago he would have left the ice and really hit him (like the hossa hit)(which was really bad)
        we can debate all day about weather or not it was a clean hit
        he hit his head therefore it is a suspension
        but because it was raffi he got the series
        there have been many hits that have happened, that have been worse in the playoffs this year that have not been called and im not talking about the sharks
        It is because he is Raffi that he got suspended for the series not because of the hit
        That is the bs part
        not defending what he has done in the past
        I say star player because those star players that have made hits like this don’t get suspended (did you watch ovi in the playoffs ?)

      • blackhawksdynasty - May 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        @sharksman: (phone won’t let me reply to your reply)
        Thanx for clarifying your post. I actually did notice Torres had appeared to change his game. He seemed to maintain his physical play without going overboard on his hits. He even showed some offensive skills and vision. I thought he was a much improved player, and even found myself saying “good for him”.
        Now here we are, once again talking about a head shot. I just think it’s a shame that some players don’t respect each other – or the game – enough to avoid these types of plays.
        As for the “star player” treatment, I think the NHL considers the “star” level to some extent, but not the extreme that many others seem to think. And I sincerely doubt they care what logo the offending player is wearing.

  9. billyhauntswizards - May 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    what a garbage suspension.

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Garbled your sentence a bit: What a suspension for garbage. There, fixed it for ya.

  10. 19to77 - May 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Raffi Torres gets 3-6 games for being Raffi Torres. What a crock. Dustin Brown got two games in the regular season for elbowing Pominville’s face in, but this is supposed to be worse? Guess that’s what Torres gets for not being a captain.

  11. prd797 - May 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    I can’t stand Shanahan’s circumstantial brand of “justice.” If the aim is to take certain types of hits out of the game, offer up a consistent suspension. That means regardless of injury, reputation, teams playing, time of the year, temperature in the building, blah blah blah, if there is visible intent or malice, even if there is no resulting injury, there should be a suspension.

    The only way to truly get rid of dirty hits and headshots is to have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. Doesn’t matter if you are the poster boy for the NHL or a called up scrub from the minors, if you try it, you should get punished.

    Shanahan’s wheel of justice does very little to deter a player from trying something, especially when you see a Shea Weber or Dustin Brown get off nearly scot-free for something that somebody else will get 5 games for.

    • sanjosecupcrazy - May 16, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Brendan Shanahan is a douchebag, pure and simple.

  12. jj9979 - May 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM


    I couldn’t care less about this series or teams, but the NHL just went full NFL….

    Terrible decision

  13. einjzmolf - May 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I started to respect raffi’s game this year, he really did look to be trying harder to be a clean player while still being himself. This suspension could have been a little lighter in my opinion. Hope the sharks make it to the 3rd round so this isn’t how he ends his season again.

    • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      I feel for him a bit that his history will follow him around, but I can also see how it’s reasonable to expect a suspension would be greater for a repeat offender. This isn’t a bad call to suspend him, even if many still don’t agree with the potential for 6 games, but that’s largely in frustration at the lack of calls or severity of suspensions for similar or worse hits.

  14. phillyphanatic77 - May 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Looked like a suspendable hit, but the whole series? Really? Three games probably would’ve been more than sufficient for a repeat offender. There have been worse hits that received nothing more than a simple slap on the wrist. Not a Torres fan but this ruling is based purely on reputation and the fact that he’s not a star on one of Shannys favored teams.

  15. aventador12 - May 16, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Again, inconsistency on handing out punishments at it’s finest. Pathetic.

  16. fhuizar - May 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    repeat offender

    Torres will never learn his listen. Selfish play. Hurting his team more than our Kings.

    NHL gets it right here.

  17. gsprulz - May 16, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    It’s tough seeing Kings fans celebrating on twitter over this suspension. A 6 game suspension surprised me. Feels like a kick in the balls, since Stoll got away with a 1 game suspension for concussing Ian White two years ago last time we met in the playoffs for a much more blatant hit.

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Part of your problem might be looking for sane opinions on Twitter.

  18. cdalton2690 - May 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    This is a joke. The only reason he got anything was because he is Torres. He created his reputation I cant argue that, but he really seemed to turn things around this season. The original point of contact is the shoulder, skates stayed on the ice, elbow stayed tucked in, hit was from the side on the shoulder. No reason for a suspension.

    • fhuizar - May 16, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Did you not see him (Torres) skate through Stoll. If he hits him (Stoll) in the shoulder then there would be a collision and Stoll would be pushed toward the board and not spun around like he was. Ok he hits Stoll in the body and makes shoulder to shoulder contact ok clean hit, but he didnt.

      • cdalton2690 - May 16, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        No he hits the front of his shoulder first, Stoll is bending over leaning forward, Torres then makes contact with his head. Hence why I said ORIGINAL point of contact is the shoulder. He skated through him because that’s what your suppose to do. If he takes a half a stride back he either misses him completely or hits him from behind. At some point players need to be accountable for there safety to a point, left your head like every youth hockey coach teaches from day 1.

  19. bgrillz - May 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Kinda horsecrap. It was not a hit where he targeted the head. It’s unfortunate the end result. But this wasn’t Him leaving his feet with a flying elbow to the head. Garbage Shanny.

  20. rgledz - May 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    What a load of crap. The hit was borderline…..should he have been suspended? Yes, but not for the whole damn series. Proof positive that if you’re a captain and really good at being a cheap shot artist, ala Dustin Brown, you can do whatever you want. If Brown makes that same hit he gets nothing. What an absolute joke.

  21. kingsfan68 - May 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    sharks fans are a joke, if one of your grit players got hit like Stoll did you all would be crying foul and for a long suspension. . kings roll in 5, go suck it and no cup again for you Norcal battery chuckers

    • gsprulz - May 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Wow your own fans think 6 games was extreme for Torres. I understand being upset that Stoll got hurt but, he’s day to day. It’s not like he’s out for the rest of the playoffs.

      • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        “Day to day” is hardly any guarantee he’ll be on the ice any time soon.

  22. stakex - May 16, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    The pansification of hockey is complete when a hit like this results in a 3-6 game suspension…

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      So now it’s a “pansy” game? Then why are you still watching?

  23. manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    All about poor Torres, the suspension-magnet. Sharks fans should be happy they traded their designated thug for one of the Kings’ centers instead of whining about it. What part of “don’t hit players in the head” don’t you guys get? A repeat head-hunter got hammered, as it should be.

    If the NHL played by the old-boy rules some of you seem to cherish there’d be no one left in a seven-game series to play the last game. How are you pining-for-the-old-days types going to feel when the league has as many retired players with dementia as the NFL?

  24. modellforprez - May 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    why is Shanahan so questionably inconsistent. W H Y

    • drewsylvania - May 16, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      Easy: His corporate overlords are telling him what to do.

  25. loyallakingsfan35yrs - May 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    With or without Torres/Stall…. Kings in 4. Done deal

  26. drewsylvania - May 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Torres is a ****, but it’s yet another suspension based on player name.


  27. chicagohawksfan66 - May 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    I wonder how many of you Fairweather sharks fans were calling for torries head when he was a canuck? repeat offenders don’t get benefit of the doubt.

    • sharksman - May 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Of course we were , I am not defending what he has done in the past
      He has been a big part of the sharks since the trade and he has played clean all year
      I am just saying the length is bs
      that is all
      his reputation and previous suspensions killed him
      Oh and how about that hossa “dive” last night lol

  28. sjsharks66 - May 16, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Jeff Carter charge on Vlasic and Vlasic is injured… Lets see if this goes the same way it does for Torres.

  29. michaelgormanweb - May 17, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Buh bye, jackass.

  30. thedavesiknowiknow - May 17, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    As if the Nhl could make itself look more bush-league- now Shanahan is handing out suspensions for “undefined” # of games. Can’t wait to see the day the “special needs kid” suspends somebody for “a long time”. It’ll happen.

  31. hockeydon10 - May 17, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    This article made me smile. Not because I have anything against Torres or because I’m rooting for the Kings.

    Shanny says Torres hit the shoulder first in a glancing blow.
    Shanny says the head was the initial point of contact.

    “Initial (adjective): of, pertaining to, or occurring at the beginning; first”

    Uh… either the shoulder was the initial point of contact or it wasn’t. There can’t be two initial — otherwise known as ‘first’ — points of contact.

    He should just say what he means. “The majority of the energy of this hit was to Stoll’s melon. That’s what we’re trying to take out of the game. Sometimes. Depending upon who delivers it and who it’s delivered to.”

    • hrudey - May 17, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      That point about Shanny saying the head was the initial point of contact would be an excellent catch, other than it never happening (and I just watched the video again to absolutely confirm this). He said consistently that the head was the *principal* point of contact, which it absolutely was – witness that the momentum through Stoll backwards and Torres slipped right on by, rather than a shoulder-to-shoulder collision which would have sent Stoll sideways and impeded Torres’ momentum. The simple rule is that you target the head, you sit, and if you’re a serial offender, you sit a lot.

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