National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan will announce Saturday whether the NHL Department of Player Safety will assess further supplemental discipline to suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres.
Torres was suspended indefinitely Wednesday, pending an in-person hearing held today at the NHL's New York Office, for a hit on Chicago forward Marian Hossa 11:42 into the first period of Game 3 of the teams' Western Conference Quarterfinal series in Chicago on Tuesday, April 17.
The care taken on this one is understandable, given the stakes.
The push from many in the media and a large segment of the fan base is already for a mammoth, message-sending ban of 20-plus games.
The reality is Torres will likely sit for, at most, half that, even though as a repeat offender who's not a star, he is one of the easiest targets in the league.
Ten games makes the most sense: The final three games of this series, plus a theoretical seven-game series in the following round. Plus, with the old 2-for-1 paradigm for postseason games lost vs. regular season, it's a "20-gamer."
But the calls are there for the NHL to make an example of Torres. From Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
Just as it seemed like the league had set a very low bar with how they dealt with Nashville's Shea Weber and his head slam of Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, they raised it higher than anyone expected when [Chicago's Andrew] Shaw was banned for three games.
Bottom line: A charging and interference infraction combined with a head shot and a bad history should end Torres for the rest of the playoffs. If Shaw's suspension was a message to the rest of the playoff teams then Torres didn't understand it. Now simply comes the punishment. The time for messages is over.
This isn't the first time the Shanahan regime has been asked to send a message/make a statement/do what's "right."
In fact, it happened at the end of the regular season when Duncan Keith — on a play that, frankly, eclipses that of Torres for recklessness — concussed Daniel Sedin. The NHL could have suspended Keith for the rest of the regular season just to say they did, but opted not to.
They don't play politics with their decisions very often; does a stretcher on the ice for Hossa and a postseason of violence change that?
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