Oilers’ radio personnel Dan Tencer reiterated the news out of Chicago that the Phoenix Coyotes had talked with the NHL in hopes of reducing forward Raffi Torres’ suspension for the shortened season.
Coyotes appealed to NHL to reduce Raffi Torres’ suspension due to short season. No go. “It was a short conversation” says AGM Brad Treliving
— Dan Tencer (@dantencer) January 16, 2013
Torres’ suspension as it sits now will require him to sit in the press box until February 2.
Not one to shy away from a big and more times than not a controversial hit, Raffi Torres delivered his biggest to date last April.
In a already heated first round playoff series with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ontario native caught star forward Marian Hossa following his pass in the neutral zone. While the next few seconds are up for debate, the play ended with Hossa leaving the United Center on a stretcher. What followed surprised even Coyotes GM Don Maloney. “You would think Raffi murdered a bus load of children the way he’s portrayed here in Chicago,” Maloney told the Arizona Republic.
The backlash of the hit even went as far as death threats being made to Coyotes TV color commentator Tyson Nash after saying the now infamous, “as clean of a hit as you’re gonna get,” and an interview with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. McCarthy who was witness to the hit claimed it was “borderline criminal conduct.”
While Mr. McCarthy wasn’t available for comments on Duncan Keith’s elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin, or Jimmy Hayes’ boarding hit on Michal Rozsival, the league was. Suspending Torres indefinitely, the league would later hand down one of the longest suspensions in modern NHL history, 25 games.
Thankfully Marian Hossa was able to use the extended off season to get back to health and return with to the ice with his team Jan. 19, Raffi will not. After having his suspension initially reduced from 25 to 21 games during the summer, Torres will still have to serve 8 games and continue to forfeit his pay on top of the money already lost during the lockout.
Theres no ignoring Torres’ history of hits. But for the controversial forward, he quickly became the scapegoat for a disciplinary system that was spotty throughout the regular season and that now was hemorrhaging inconstancy in the post season.
Shea Weber’s smashing of Zetterberg’s head only fetched a $2,500 fine. Matt Carkner’s dance with an unwilling Brian Boyle landed Carkner a suspension that lasted all of one game. And the elbow delivered to Daniel Alfredsson’s head by Carl Hagelin? Three game suspension.
While we can sit here all day and talk about the NHL’s disciplinary system or lack there of, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Torres received the brunt of it all and continues to to this day. So now Coyotes fans and Torres will wait for the 8 games to be served.
Torres is due back Feb. 2 against division rivals the Dallas Stars.