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.
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.