Hit Me With Your Best (Head) Shot: Should Raffi Torres Be Suspended?

Jim Neveau, NHL Correspondent

In his first game back from a four-game suspension, Raffi Torres looked to assert himself physically like he normally does. He went out trying to hit everything that moved, and he picked up an early penalty because of this desire. Then, in the middle of the second period, he nearly decapitated Brent Seabrook on a hit behind the Chicago net:

Instantly the internet was abuzz with talk about the hit. Rage emanated from Blackhawks fans, Canucks fans slowly backed away from their player, and hockey pundits from everywhere began debating the same thing: how many games should Torres sit out for? In addition to that, how on Earth could the referees officiating the game only give Torres a two-minute minor for a hit that was that reprehensible?

Before we start arguing whether or not the play warrants a suspension, it would be appropriate to break down the play for the various components that go into determining a suspension. To start with, the puck was near Seabrook on the play. He was looking down to play it, and Torres undoubtedly saw that Seabrook had his head down to do so and went for the hit. Unfortunately for the Canucks’ defenseman, that is the only defensible thing about what he did.


The first and most crucial element is that it could be argued that Torres had no interest in just forcing Seabrook off of the puck. He had his target picked out even before the puck came behind the net, and he kept his eyes locked onto Brent the entire time he skated towards him. That by itself isn’t troubling, but the other components of the play are.

When Torres goes to hit Seabrook in the video, you can see that he deliberately aims high on the hit. Whether he was targeting Seabrook’s head or not can be debated at length, but the fact of the matter is that it certainly appeared that he was. When you have a player drilling a guy in the head from the blind side, that automatically ratchets up the deplorability quotient of the situation. Torres definitely wasn’t just going for the knockdown; he appeared to be going for the knock-out.

That last sentence applies to the final thing that has to be looked at: intent. Granted, you’re never sure about what a player’s intent was (although in some instances, such as the Matt Cooke hit on Fedor Tyutin and the Trevor Gillies hit on Cal Clutterbuck, you can infer it pretty easily), but on this hit, it definitely appeared that Torres was attempting to knock Seabrook into next week, and he was looking for a high hit to do it.

Brent Seabrook (BridgetDS/Flickr)

So now that the intent that Torres has on the hit has been discussed, a wrinkle or two does thicken the plot. TSN’s Bob McKenzie brought up an interesting point on Twitter Sunday night when he discussed the league’s stance on hits behind the net. He discussed how one NHL GM said that the league is more lenient on hits on unsuspecting players in that area of the ice, and that the league views those hits as more “North-South” instead of “East-West,” which would fall under the auspices of Rule 48. McKenzie also brought up that the distinction needed to be made between “a straight-on body check where shoulder also struck head” or a “head shot.”

As is usually the case with Mr. McKenzie, he definitely adds some much needed insight, but his argument is centered around the interpretation of a DVD issued last year by the league about hits in various areas of the ice. The main thing that is disagreeable about what he said was that he definitely did not take the intent of the hit into consideration, and that’s what makes it a more suspendable offense in this instance. It was pretty clear that Torres wasn’t just trying to knock Seabrook down; he was trying to injure him by leaping into his upper body, and likely was targeting Brent’s head.

With that in mind, the question becomes how long Torres should be suspended for. As a repeat offender, he certainly is going to get a long look for discipline in this situation, and if the league is serious about sending messages for these types of hits (that sure is a common refrain, isn’t it?), then they need to suspend Torres for at least the remainder of this series. That would mean a suspension of at least four games, and that seems to be appropriate considering the other discipline the league has handed out in these playoffs.

Jarret Stoll got a game for drilling a player from behind head-first into the boards, Bobby Ryan got two for stomping on another player’s foot with his skate, and now the repeat-offender Torres, fresh off a suspension for a similar play, should receive double Ryan’s ban at least.

Is the league finally getting to a point where they have to ban headshots outright? After all, players are still targeting the head even with the ban on blindside and lateral hits in place, so why not just disallow hits to the head altogether? Sure, you’re going to have the arguments that some headshots are inadvertent, but are there really any other options left at this point? Players aren’t stopping just because of Rule 48, so maybe the league needs to take even more drastic steps.

In this instance, the league probably won’t explore the option of completely banning headshots, but they also need to evaluate whether their on-ice officials properly did their jobs in only giving Torres a two-minute interference penalty. As was astutely observed by various reporters covering the game, if Seabrook had milked his injury and stayed on the ice longer, the odds that Torres would have received a game misconduct would have gone up quite a bit. As we’ve seen multiple times this season, including in the Brad Stuart incident among others, the league’s officials tie their punishments way too much to the severity of the injury sustained by the player involved, and that simply isn’t right.

To sum it up, this play is exactly the type of thing that the league should want to get out of the game. A player attempting to injure another player shouldn’t be tolerated, and if the NHL turns a blind eye to this and fails to suspend Torres, it will be one more black mark against a league that is quickly becoming known for their inability to properly protect their assets on the ice.


81 thoughts on “Hit Me With Your Best (Head) Shot: Should Raffi Torres Be Suspended?”

  1. I’m going to be rude today. Why? 2 reasons. Livefyre can’t unsubscribe me from getting emails with updates from these comments. I select don’t send me anything, unsuscribe me, etc, and still the mail comes. So now I have to make filters to stop the mail, and/or change my address to a fake one to filter. Good thing I didn’t use my main address.

    Secondly, since I’m disabled with severe O.C.D, and have time on my hands, I can devote time to researching this whole subject. I’m not normally frustrated like this, but you get tired of people having to put you down and call you names on a forum because you have a different view. So I’m going to lower myself today to that level, and be like all the knuckle draggers here, and all the people here that are having shitty lives and have to take their frustration out on other people. I’m not going to take responsibility, I’m frustrated from my illness and from dealing with uncivilized human beings who act like they do on forums.

    I obtained several different youtube videos of the incident last night. I enhanced them with other software, and streamed from my mac to a large screen tv. I went frame by frame, backwards and forwards. For about half an hour. Torres’s shoulder, the area where the ‘cap’ centers or apexes on the shoulder pad and shoulder, made contact with the side of Seabrroks head. SHOULDER MADE CONTACT WITH SIDE OF HEAD.

    Two, I guess I’m just stupid compared to the rest of you members of Mensa, so I don’t know what blind-side means, but it seems like Seabrook was hit from the side, not from the front, not from behind, but from the side. No more, no less. It is what it is. What does blind mean? It could refer to those of you that can’t see a shoulder hit a head. Seabrook was hit from the side, more or less, and he was blind to it. We’ll have no idea where Seabrook’s mind was at that moment, maybe he was thinking about golfing after the playoff’s, he said after the game that he doesn’t even know where his mind was. Glad he wasn’t driving a car at that moment. Because of this and other concussions, his brain will probably never be the same again. Back to the matter at hand. For whatever reason, he was BLIND to this hit, and hit from the SIDE.

    Three, again, because of my low IQ, I wasn’t able to express clearly enough how I was feeling about this incident yesterday.

    I don’t have a solution.

    The NHL and the players agree, too many players are getting too many concusions and missing more and more time due to damage to their brains. It’s becoming more prevalent. It’s becoming more of a problem. I’m not a baby. I like boxing, it’s brutal, and it can cause brain damage like Alzheimer’s and general dementia. And everyone participating knows this. And so do the viewers. Hockey isn’t first and foremost about taking shots to the head. It is risky, there is hitting. I know, everyone is bigger and faster, blah, blah, blah. To a point. The past had no helmets, virtually. Huge players, in some cases, Some really fast players.

    My point, that I’m addressing to the jury and the court, is that there are too many concussions today. There is less respect than there used to be.

  2. @Dave_The_Hawk @rmginvestor @The Hawk On that point I actually agree but as RM has said, it’s not very likely , given commercial considerations. Every foot of extra ice space is a foot of chairs not being filled.

    I personally think a larger ice space would be the cure insofar as hockey players are now bigger & faster & their equipment is so much more sophisticated. I wouldn’t go for international standards — I think they’re far less than perfect, they’re too wide — but something like that.


  3. @Dave_The_Hawk @rmginvestor @The Hawk Couldn’t he have dropped his shoulder?

    No, he couldn’t have. And it wasn’t his responsibility to do so.


  4. Watched replay today & on the fence no more – Torres shoulda been punished! Your conslusion sums it up nicely, Jim:

    “To sum it up, this play is exactly the type of thing that the league should want to get out of the game. A player attempting to injure another player shouldn’t be tolerated, and if the NHL turns a blind eye to this and fails to suspend Torres, it will be one more black mark against a league that is quickly becoming known for their inability to properly protect their assets on the ice.”

  5. Nicely done, Neveau!
    I’m still mulling this one over. Forst gut reaction was: “that effin’ Torres at it again.” I might be a bit jaded given I’m living in Calgary and he’s gotten under the Flames skin his whole career, whether it be with the Oilers, CBJ & now.
    Rhett Warrener, who is now regularly on Fan960 Mon-Wed (Calgary Sports Radio), deemed it a “hockey play” without hesitation. I really value his opinion as a straight shooter kind of guy.
    I’m still leaning towards my initial gut reaction, but there are definitely arguments to both sides of the equation.

  6. but even just for Torres own sake, wouldn’t it be better for him to not get suspended? He needs to play, his team needs him. @Dave_The_Hawk OK, starting when? Next game? Next Series? Next year?

    I’m not really clear on your point? I don’t think he did anything wrong. What’s he supposed to do, go to the headmaster for permiission to go to lunch hall?


  7. @muskie @apom101 @dave I may come back to it one day. When I first moved to Toronto, there were times I could actually watch the Leafs play. They were underdogs, and could squeak out victories here and there. Felix Potvin, Cliff Fletcher at the helm, bringing in Gilmour, Yuskevich not that big but hitting with intensity. By the way, talking to Doug Gilmour in street clothes, in person, he’s not that big. But boy he brought intensity to the ice. I’m really a Bruins fan, grew up watching Mr. Orr, still the most complete player for my money. And still racked up a lot of penalties on the way. You didn’t want to piss Bobby Orr off. One other observation. Mahovlich used to come into my store a lot, he owned a travel agency down the street. Man did he have big hands. You shake hands with him, and it felt like you were shaking hands with a backcatcher’s glove. Fine physical specimen, can’t tell how old he is.

  8. @Dave_The_Hawk @apom101 @dave That’s a bloody good question & I might not be the perfect person to ask.

    My last Cup experience was with the Bruins who I’d watched in junior. And now my team’s there again, just like in ’82 & ’94.

    It’s money but not in the way you think. These are very big boys but it’s because they can afford to be. They train all the time & they can afford to because of all the cash they get. It’s still a good game, though. We just have to hang on to it.

  9. @Dave_The_Hawk Actually D, what TSN, Sportsnet & CBC were calling was a blindside hit & that’s what’s peeing me off. It was only blindside because the stupid little pecker made himself blind.

  10. @muskie @apom101 @dave So where do you think the NHL goes with this now? Is the discussion going to be about intention? Some may argue that Torres didn’t intend to hit him in the head, that things happen quickly and that sh*t happens some times. Was interference called here? Because Torres had the right to hit him, the puck was right there, the timing was right. Seabrook says he doesn’t know himself what he was looking at. I was pretty good sized when I was a kid, hockey in my genes (my grandfather once played with Eddie Shore), but I didn’t like getting hit. One of my biggest mantra’s growing up was keep your head up, try not to leave yourself vulnerable on the boards, I made an effort to get to the puck first especially in my own end, but if I was going to be creamed I kept moving and tried to poke at it (the puck). I guess the game (NHL wise) seems more viscious to me than it used to. They hardly made any money in the past. There was less riding on it. Seabrook has had concussions before? How much more can his head take? Do people last as long in the NHL anymore? I’ve watched International games once in a while, Junior Hockey, I love hitting and contact, but the junior games seem more enjoyable to watch, just seems faster, not as dirty, less clutch and grab. I wish I could get into it, just can’t enjoy it anymore. Used to watch Calgary (from there) in their heyday, Lanny streaking down the wing, Gilmour, Tim Hunter versus Dave Semenko, great great era of hockey.

  11. @TheHockeyWriter @RogerOnRadarHil Okay, so I haven’t followed hockey for years. What kind of reputation does Torres have? Is he just hardnosed?

  12. @Dave_The_Hawk @apom101 @dave I didn’t say in my last post so I should confirm: I do believe there was contact with the head. But I do not think it was illegal.

    Caveat: I’m a pretty hard-core Canucks fan. But I’ve never been a homer. If I thought that was truly a nasty hit, I’d ride him out of town on a rail.

  13. @Dave_The_Hawk @apom101 @dave I do say clean Dave but you’re not wrong it’s a fascinating display.

    As for the dropped part, that was just a metaphor for how he approached play along the boards. His dug his head down to scramble for the puck very shortly before Torres showed up.

  14. @RogerOnRadarHil I have to completely agree with Roger – good hard hit. The only problem was Seabrook skating one way and looking the other. Anyone but Torres makes this hit and we’re not even talking about it.

  15. @muskie Fair enough, and it happens quickly, but even just for Torres own sake, wouldn’t it be better for him to not get suspended? He needs to play, his team needs him. Because the NHL might suspend him. They definitely called some penalties on the play. We know that perceived hits to the head are under the microscope, if Torres could have reacted in time and hit a bit lower than he seemed to hit, it would look better for him. If he could have. I know I may be assuming something here, and there are a lot of what ifs. He made a really nice hit on Seabrook later on, although some on other forums have hinted that it was charging.

  16. @rmginvestor @The Hawk Couldn’t he have dropped his shoulder? Torres says after the game that he is doing his job, finishing the check, and if he doesn’t, he’s out of a job. Fair enough. I’m not saying stop on a dime and don’t hit him. It didn’t seem like interference. I’m just personally questioning why Torres couldn’t follow though “lower’? If Muskie says Seabrook dropped his head as Torres is approaching, why couldn’t Torres dip his shoulder and try to hit a bit lower? It seemed high to me.

  17. @Dave_The_Hawk My argument is, given the speed of the game, Torres could just have easily been injured had he suddenly changed motion or direction. We’ve seen it a million times. Is he supposed to risk his health & career because Seabrook doesn’t have the good sense to protect himself? With that I disagree.

    As for the difference of opinion, I may have overstated my position & I don’t want to start out on a sour note.


  18. @muskie @apom101 @dave I’m sorry, I thought you said “He hit the guy in the head because his head…”. I didn’t see Seabrook “drop” his head. I saw it down a bit in a fixed position as he skated to the boards. It is what it is, his head was fixed in space and time, and I saw Torres make no effort to drop his shoulder a “bit”. I’m not trying to get into semantics here. Seabrooks head was where it was, you say he dropped it, I referred to you only because you said his “head was hit”, my point is that some here are saying his head was not contacted. You say it was, but it was Seabrook’s fault, because he dropped it. Whether we agree or not if he ‘dropped’ it, you are confirming that Seabrook’s head was hit by some part of Torres’s body, others are saying here, and in other places on the net, that no contact was made with his head. As human beings, we can’t even agree about what we are watching either on a video, and for some, in person. Google this whole topic, and the arguments rage. What’s interesting is that this whole discussion has legs, and will for some time. Why did both referee’s raise their hands on the play? I’m not saying they are right or wrong, it’s just fascinating how this is playing out, and how adamant some are that this was clean, others are saying it wasn’t, and on and on.

  19. @muskie I’m trying to understand your comments about Torres being injured himself, and I don’t agree with that. Just my opinion. Why are you not sure we had a legitimate difference of opinion, and now you’re not sure? Elaborate please.

  20. @Dave_The_Hawk @apom101 @dave I never said it was a hit to the to the head. I said that moron Seabrook dropped his head to where Torres’s shoulder was aimed & he shouldn’t have done that.


  21. I just thought we had a legitimate difference of opinion. Now I’m not so sure. Please refer to my comments concerning the possibility of Torres having been injured himself had he taken another tack.

  22. Not a head shot. Not an illegal hit. Barely an interference call. This whole incident is spun out of the fact that Raffi Torres is involved. Any of the Hawks D make that hit and it’s a not a topic.

  23. Not a head shot. Not an illegal hit. Barely an interference call. This whole incident is spun out of the fast that Raffi Torres is involved. Any of the Hasks D make that hit and it’s a not a topic.

  24. @rmginvestor @The Hawk I played high school football, and also did a lot of hitting on the line in flag football. I was only 5’8′, 195 pounds back then, I was a running back and defensive safety. I was fast. I hit hard. I had cleats on. The head injuries were few and far between. I guess an element of my argument is that people played hard back then, but there was more personal respect. Just my opinion.

  25. @rmginvestor Really, usually is a tough word to believe in here. Isn’t hockey about human beings, just like the rest of the world? Do people “usually” admit to wrongdoing? I’m not trying to be a jerk or a troll or anything, I guess for the sake of argument, ‘often’ people deny responsibility, in many situations. Including hockey. I don’t watch hockey anymore, just following headlines today, and not that a person’s past should be used against him, but Torres is coming off a suspension. I watched a few sports shows here in Canada this morning, some of the guys were mentioning Torres’s past. Does he have some kind of reputation in the NHL? I don’t know anything about this. Has there been an issue of the ‘quality’ of his hits in the past? Each situation is unique, and innocent until proven guilty, but can anyone shed light on this?

  26. @apom101 @dave Muskie says it was to the head. Why can there be no consensus if everyone has seen this full screen, from all available angles, and in slow motion?

  27. @muskie So I didn’t get to really see the hit, are you saying he hit the guy in the head? Other people here are saying he wasn’t hit in the head. Is there anyone on this thread that knows for sure? This is so confusing.

  28. @muskie I wasn’t at the game, nor did I watch it, and I realize that I really don’t have a right to comment. I’m trying to think like you, and you may be right. I guess you are saying the bottom line is his head was where it shouldn’t be, and that’s what it all comes down to. Plus it’s legal, those are the rules in the NHL, and I should have a beef with the NHL. I’m just some jerk (as someone needed to point out) that lives in North Toronto. I worked in a sporting goods store, and I used to chat with a lot of the oldtimers, and some current players. Frank Mahovlich used to bring his granchildren in, and Doug Gilmour was by once in a while, and a former captain of the Islanders, a few of the Leafs, past and present. Some of the guys brought their kids in to get their skates sharpened, or get some hockey equipment, etc. Some of the discussion, with some of the guys, was about the fact that for whatever reason, concussions and brain damage are getting out of hand, both in hockey and football. I don’t know what the answer is, it looked to me like his head was hit, but I’m probably wrong and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Listen, I’m sorry I posted here. I guess I’m not very articulate and didn’t make my point clear. I’m really sorry I had a knee jerk reaction to this hit, and I hear what you guys are saying, if the guy isn’t paying attention he deserves to be just corked and or plastered. I used to talk to Eric Lindro’s family a lot, very nice people, used to talk to his brother. I felt bad every time that Eric had his head down. And I really get what you guys are saying – players with their heads down are just asking for it, it’s their fault, those are the rules, hit him as hard as you can, no matter what the result is. Play by the rules, do your job, show no mercy. I get what you are saying. Every time you see a guy just ripe to be physically destroyed, just do it. That’s the game. I dropped out of organized hockey when I was 17, and just played recreational full contact. I could have been a contender had I been more ruthless. I eventually made Tae-Kwon-Do my recreational pasttime, far less injuries.

  29. @Dave the hawk, you really have argued quite effectively that the hit should be illegal, because, as you say, it was an intentional hit against a player with his head down.

    However, you’ve been far less effective in demonstrating how today’s NHL rules make any of that illegal. Big difference between “should” and “is”. Maybe your beef is with the NHL?

    By the way, his hit was to the crest, not the head.

  30. @rmginvestor @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk And Also Same thing 2yrs ago,, i think it was 2yrs ago, whne Willie Mitchell Hit Toews and he had game misconduct but after all this headshot talk, the rules deemed it a clean …. NHL HATES CANUCKS/CANADA

  31. LISTEN UP PEOPLE..IT. WAS. NOT. A. HEAD.SHOT!!!! He Hit His Shoulder You can tall from the back view!! Come On! No Suspension! Also Glad Raffi Hit Seabrook Again!

  32. @Dave_The_Hawk @rmginvestor @The Hawk Lafleur was extraordinary. That really was a different & special time.

    But Gretzky & Lemiuex:They were different.

    When Gretzky came in he was a total whiner. He had Cementhead to protect him & he figured his shit didn’t stink. But after a while he got roughed up a bit & rose to the task.

    Crosby was a bit like that too. He was a total prig when he came in. But he really has grown up & become a leader, much the way Gretzky did.

    But Lemiuex, I never really got that special feeling from him even though, next to Wayne he’s probably been the best so far.


  33. I haven’t liked much of what you’ve said but I do agree, headshots are a problem.

    Much as I hate to say it because I love the icing skate-off, maybe that should go. Maybe it should go no-touch. That could be a start.


    @Dave_The_Hawk @rmginvestor @The Hawk

  34. He hit the guy in the head because his head was where it shouldn’t be. Kind of the point of the post. @Dave_The_Hawk

  35. @rmginvestor @The Hawk In time, we all will. One way or another. I think there is a problem with headshots in the NHL. I may be in a minority. I think Lemieux was right years ago about all the crap. I guess I’m a dinosaur, and I like the old era where I watched fast hockey, and every team had an enforcer, and Gretzky and Lemieux and Guy Lafleur were free to freewheel, and no one really messed with them. It worked well, and we had no defensive traps, and no rewal clutch and grab. Everything changes, and if you like how the game has developed to where it’s at today, more power to you. I can’t enjoy it as it stands today, and I think the NHL has a ticking time bomb on it’s hands with headshots, and the litigation alone is going to be very interesting.

  36. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk I was a little young in the 60’s to be able to comment on that but players didn’t even wear helmets never mind worry about concussions. I guess the players weren’t as big, fast and strong.

    I can see it in football considering the whole sport is about hitting the guy as hard as you can head on. Personally I find football much too boring to watch.

  37. @rmginvestor @The Hawk That’s all good. I just find that the extent of concussions in both hockey and football should be addressed, and there was a great article this weekend in the TorontoStar.com, about a CFL quarterback who has pulled his son from certain sports and put him into baseball. I’m just saying we have a problem in sports at all levels in regards to concussions. I personally didn’t like the volume of Torres’s hit on Seabrook. For me, it is what it is, and you know that this hit is going to be a huge topic of conversation in the NHL, and add to the debate. So why is that? Why is society having this debate now? Why wasn’t that an issue in the 60’s?

  38. @Dave_The_Hawk It is an issue already, all the commentators talk about how players turn their backs to draw penalties.

  39. @Dave_The_Hawk I don’t think you can compare playing on the prairies when you were a kid to these pro playing. Not going in with full force may have been Torres version of what you did as a kid. As you could see, he was pretty adamant that he didn’t do anything wrong after the play. Usually, when a player knows they did something wrong, they don’t really argue and take their punishment as doled out.

  40. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk Maybe that would be idealistic but not practical. Do you want every team to build a new stadium to accommodate a bigger rink.

  41. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk People don’t like it when their players get hit hard. I didn’t see any Chicago fans complaining ahead of time about the Hawks bringing in some goon to try and damage the Canucks even though the guy has little talent.

  42. @rmginvestor @The Hawk Fair comment. Let’s explore something else. If the game is faster, and it is, why can’t we go to an international size of ice surface?

  43. @rmginvestor Also, Seabrook should take responsibility, but as a guy who loved to hit when I was a kid growing up on the prairies, if I saw a guy did have his head down, two things: I didn’t take advantage of that, I showed leniency, and I certainly didn’t hit him in the head.

  44. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk These guys are moving at high speed. If you see someone from 10 or 15 feet away and expect them to see you coming you move toward them, if they don’t look up at the last minute it is pretty difficult to stop. Torres did not run at the guy, he glided into him without taking extra strides. I would say that he didn’t choose to hit Seabrook as hard as he can. Again, Seabrook is something like 6’3″ 217 lbs so if you don’t hit him with some force you would be likely to bounce right off him.

  45. @rmginvestor @The Hawk And, for what it’s worth, this is going viral on the internet right now, so there is some controversy about this hit, otherwise this would not be so big first thing on a Monday morning.

  46. @Dave_The_Hawk Tough question. Players have played the game for probably at least 15 years before they get into the NHL. Should players not take some responsibility for putting themselves in vulnerable positions? If the NHL banned all headshots, what do you do when a player drops his head intentionally in order to draw a headshot penalty?

  47. @rmginvestor @The Hawk You are right, but Torres still gets to make the choice at the end of the day as to how he chooses to hit Seabrook.

  48. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk That is a fair enough comment I will agree to but that is the fault of the NHL, not the players.

  49. @rmginvestor @The Hawk Good point, what good are the rules if this type of hit to the head is acceptable in this day and age?

  50. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk Generally speaking, what is considered acceptable is usually what is allowed by the rules otherwise what good are the rules. If you want to blame someone then blame the NHL.

    Now when you have one guy stomping on another guy’s foot with a steel blade, I would consider that real intent to injure.

  51. @rmginvestor @The Hawk Again, you are 100% correct about the rules. I’m talking about the issue of headshots in the NHL, and what is considered acceptable.

  52. @Dave_The_Hawk The guy got straight up so how do you figure his brain is destroyed with a hit that he should have never put himself in such a vulnerable position. If he was going for a headshot to scramble the guy’s brain he could have done a much better job so that obviously was not the intent.

    • His brain was affected, he wasn’t the same for the rest of the game. He took a few more shifts and was clearly having difficulty. Concussions are cumulative, and he’s had them before. The NHL clearly blew this. It wasn’t interference, but both referees called an interference call. It turns out no suspension. I know I’m not as insightful as you, I still think the NHL might want to do a better job of dealing with someone’s head getting rattled like this. Maybe Torres needs to have his head hammered a few times and maybe he might look at this situation a little differently in the future.

  53. @rmginvestor I get it, he is following the rules. I’m being very judgemental about people destroying someone’s brain with a headshot. Is it okay with you about my being judgemental? Are you being judgemental of me and my remarks right now?

  54. @Dave_The_Hawk @The Hawk Why don’t you look at the video which shows examples about what is not against the rules. The example they show of a legal heat hit looked a lot worse that Torres’ hit. Or do you not want to confuse your opinion with fact?

  55. @Dave_The_Hawk If someone is following the rules set out by the league, how are they showing lack of respect. You’re being very judgemental about a player who many would deem was following the league’s rules. If he wanted to injure Seabrook he could have taken a much bigger run at him or went into him with his elbow or leapt off the ice of which he did none of those things. He hit a bigger player than him with force but how is that lack of respect?

  56. @rmginvestor @The Hawk You are 100% correct. It’s not against the rules. Maybe hitting someone’s ‘head’ so hard should be ‘more’ against the rules!

  57. @rmginvestor Hmm, says a lot when you have to call me a jerk. I won’t stoop to your level. I don’t care who makes the rules, I made a comment about how I feel about the lack of respect in the NHL, these days.

  58. @Dave_The_Hawk @muskie Tell the NHL if you don’t like the rules they set but don’t blame the players if they follow them. Let’s not forget that Seabrook is bigger than Torres and dishes out his own hits. This is not like a big guy picking on a little guy. Seabrook needs to take responsibility for lowering his head and creating the situation because Seabrook is taller than Torres.

  59. @rmginvestor @The Hawk Yep, he couldn’t stop on a dime once he made the decision to hit him. He also could have played the puck, non?

  60. @Dave_The_Hawk He didn’t make the rules the NHL does. Watch the video from the NHL before you make a bigger jerk of yourself than you are at the moment.

  61. @rmginvestor @muskie Don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. This is my opinion about headshots, whether you like it or not.

  62. @The Hawk Torres could have hit him much harder. He glided into the hit with his shoulder instead of striding toward him with more force or leading with his elbow. He is a tough player and he hit him as cleanly as possible. As you pointed out, Seabrook should have known and from Torres’ perspective, he probably expected Seabrook to look up and see him coming. Its not like he could stop on a dime a millisecond before he hit him seeing that Seabrook didn’t look up when for all intents and purposes everyone would have expected him to do so.

  63. @rmginvestor Oh, so it’s all or nothing then? I don’t care whether it’s legal. That’s the whole point. It shouldn’t be legal! I see Eddie Shack every day on Avenue Road, he doled out his share of hits and took his share of hits, and he didn’t destroy people’s brain like Torres. What part of “headshot” can’t you comprehend?

  64. @Dave_The_Hawk @muskie Did you watch the DVD video put out by the league stating that players have to be responsible for putting themselves in danger in certain areas of the ice or how about the fact that not all head shots are illegal. Watch the NHL’s own information video on the subject before you spout your mouth off.

    • Learn how to read comments before you spout your mouth off, where in my comment did I make reference to whether it was legal or not?

  65. AS stated in his article, the NHL put out a DVD describing what is legal and what is illegal. Plays around the back of the net are considered North-South. The NHL DVD specifically states a North-South head shot is LEGAL if the player does not leave the ice or use his elbows, etc. Torres hit Seabrook head on though Seabrook put himself in jeopardy by skating with his head down and turned away. THis is just plain stupid and Torres should have been able to expect Seabrook to look up at some point and know that he was going to get hit. The author, though he knows this and dismisses the NHL’s own direction. He loses all credibility when he states Torres leaped into his body as anyone watching the play can CLEARLY see he did not leave the ice. Once he loses his credibility, how can you consider anything he is saying.

  66. @muskie Bull back. Irrelevant. He hit the guy in the head. He didn’t let up. They play together in a “union”. No respect. Is Torres happy now? This will really be a great career move after just coming off a suspension. You must me a Scott Stevens fan. Did you read this article? Did we watch the same YouTube video?

  67. Bull. Torres didn’t jump up & if he’d torqued his body & twisted his neck to look, he could well have ended up with a sprained or broken ankle, a separated shoulder, a blown-out knee or even a concussion or neck injury of his own. Seabrook followed the puck with his head down & his body out of position. Players approaching the boards have an obligation to protect themselves & Seabrook didn’t do that.

  68. This is why, after living and breathing hockey all my life, I can’t watch this anymore. Thank you for this article. I love hitting, but in my era, there wasn’t this intent to injure. Bettman rules the roost, and nothing really will transpire from this. The referees in this game didn’t call this properly. I don’t have any confidence that real change will be enacted in regards to head hits. I’m not blaming Seabrook, but where was his head at? Isn’t he remotely aware of his surroundings? When I was a kid, call me obsessive or vigilant, but I knew where everyone was at all times. There was no way I was going to be caught with my head down. No respect anymore. None. Instead of letting up before the hit, the attitude is, well his head was down, too bad-too sad, I’m just going to do my job, consequences be damned. Torres is a turd for following through with this type of force. Life isn’t fair.

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