The NHL issued this statement:
NEW YORK — Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended for 25 games for launching himself to deliver a late hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the teams’ Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series in Chicago on Tuesday, April 17, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
Should the 25 games not be served by the conclusion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining games of the suspension will carry over into the following regular season. Torres will be prohibited from playing in any preseason games until he has served this 25-game suspension (playoff and regular-season games).
Should the suspension carry over to next season, because he is classified as a repeat offender under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres will forfeit $21,341.46 in salary for every regular-season game in which he is ineligible to play.
The incident occurred at 11:42 of the first period. Hossa suffered an injury as a result of the hit.
Torres already has served one game of this suspension, Game 4 of the series in Chicago on Thursday, April 19. For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=173753.
It’s obvious that Torres’ past history of dirty hits came into play in this decision. I think it’s also evident that the circumstances (tight playoff series, Hossa being one of Chicago’s top players) also came into play.
This is an unprecedented suspension from the NHL for a hit to the head, and I have to admit that I totally agree. Torres is a dirty player, plain and simple. He’s in the same category as Matt Cooke in my books, and he has no place in the game.
What do you think? Was this appropriate, or is 25 games too much?