The hit speaks for itself, but there is still certainly more to say after a disgusting illegal hit leaves Chicago Blackhawk, Marian Hossa, carted off the ice on a stretcher, and his (I’m going to say attacker) attacker, Phoenix Coyote, Raffi Torres, on the bench and on the ice for the rest of regulation.
NHL Chief Disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, has already had his hands full of suspensions this playoff season, and is now under even more scrutiny for the ruling on Torres this coming Friday. The seemingly unjust three game suspension of rookie Chicago Blackhawk, Andrew Shaw, for alleged charging and a game misconduct on Phoenix goaltender, Mike Smith, during game two has fans and analysts questioning how the NHL is handling disciplinary rulings.
Outrage from fans, reporters, and of course, Head Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quennville, not only at the brutal (and clearly illegal) hit, but also the fact that four officials made no call after Hossa was knocked from his feet, was a key topic of conversion last night, and an emotional topic in the locker room for players.
While all interviewed Coyotes, including Head Coach Dave Tippett, claimed during post-game interviews that they did not witness the hit, or hadn’t yet seen a tape of it, thousands of fans did, and Torres was quickly pulled away from reporters.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced this morning that Torres is suspended indefinitely pending his hearing on Friday, April 20. The hearing was originally scheduled for today, but was deferred until Friday at the request of the player. Raffi Torres, is a repeat offender of suspension-worthy hits, in fact, this is Torres’ third game in a row where the Department of Player Safety has had to step in for his actions. Third… in a row.
There have already been seven suspensions during this Quarterfinals Round, a suspension for Torres bringing that to eight, topping the TOTAL of suspensions for last years’ playoff series.
What happens to Torres on Friday is probably going to be severe, not just to punish the player, but to send a message to other athletes throughout the league, addressing the serious issue that the series is facing with dirty hitting this rampant so early in the playoffs.
Didn’t see the hit? Find it below, but I warn you, it’s rough to watch if your a fan of the Hoss or a hockey fan at all.
Photos credit to ibtimes.com, and nhl.com.