Torres hit: really? 25 games?

I don’t like Raffi Torres. I think he tries to hurt people. And checks like he so often delivers are exactly the kind that need to be eliminated from hockey. But I can’t say the 25-game suspension handed down by the league for the hit on Marian Hossa makes a whole lot of sense to me. Aaron Asham got, what, four games (?), for cross-checking Brayden Schenn in the throat. He’s a repeat-offender, too, is he not? That cross check could have killed Schenn. And it was far less related to anything even remotely like a hockey play than Torres’s late hit on Hossa, which — as I believe Shane Doan pointed out — was probably a legal (or at least tolerated) check five years ago.

The Torres check was late, but it wasn’t that late. It was high, but it wasn’t that high. It was to the head but I’ve seen worse. It didn’t involve the boards and it wasn’t blind-side. Yes, he left his feet. Yes, he’s an ass. Yes, Hossa is a star. Yes, Hossa was injured.

I guess my problem is, I don’t see how players are supposed to look at that ruling and know what the rules are. It appears to be a matter of calibration: don’t hit that late, or that high. Right, got it.

Shanahan sets precedent: Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for Hossa head shot | ProHockeyTalk

Phoenix’s Raffi Torres was suspended for 25 games by the NHL for his illegal check to the head of Chicago’s Marian Hossa. The hit on Hossa left him on the ice and in need of a stretcher and a trip to the hospital. Hossa has not returned to action and remains out with what’s believed to be a concussion.

Torres’ history of past transgressions, including three offenses this season, worked against him.

Shanahan says Torres knew Hossa was no long in possession of the puck on the play as he took a swipe at it with his stick before leaping into Hossa to deliver a head shot. Shanahan says Torres violated three rules on the play: Interference, charging, and Rule 48 for an illegal check to the head.

Oh, well, interference. Sure.


  6 comments for “Torres hit: really? 25 games?

  1. April 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    “He’s a repeat-offender, too, is he not?”
    Actually Ahsam has no record of supplementary discipline. I do agree with this ruling but the main thing is that the league needs to get better at writing and clarifying rules.

    • DougS
      April 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      I agree about doing a better job of clarifying rulings. Otherwise, it’s just new boss, same as the old boss, yadda yadda yadda.

    • Doughty99
      April 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      then you’ve touch on another issue. how the hell could Asham NOT be a repeat offender?

      • April 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Yeah that’s what I mean. (I guess.) 

    • April 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      What am I thinking of then? There was some Asham incident…I guess it must have been something that went unpenalized. I must be getting old. 

  2. Doughty99
    April 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I couldn’t agree more. Torres IS awful, but it’s totally unfair to make an example of him. Shannahan & the Referees (terrible band name, btw) are to blame for all that’s transpired in the postseason. They’ve had countless opportunities to send messages both during and after games and were consistent only in their overlooking and marginalizing.

    Carkner’s borderline assault on Boyle; Asham’s crosscheck; and Weber (who basically “Bertuzzi’d” Zetterberg into the boards) are all significantly worse than Torres’ hit. At least with Torres’ hit one could make an argument that he made a ‘hockey play’ (albeit a late hockey play).  How could any of those first three defend their actions with anything other than the Clowe/Canadian Media defense (aka, the “I just wanna win so badly” defense).

    This inconsistency is gonna start to compromise the integrity of the game if the NHL doesn’t make a decision about whether it wants to protect its work force.  Obviously, it should, but the double standards that have plagued the league all year (‘fighting with a visor’ anyone?) are even worse then if Bettman just made a statement, ‘go ahead and crosscheck each other in the head. We don’t care unless you’re targeting a star who plays in Canada, the Northeast, or Chicago.”  As ludicrous as that statement appears, at least it’s clear.

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