Raffi Torres of the Vancouver Canucks returned to the ice Sunday night for the first time since April 5 when his blindside hit on Edmonton Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle earned him a four-game suspension from the NHL.
Midway through the second period of Game 3 against the Chicago, Torres laid this big hit on Brent Seabrook behind the Blackhawks' net, which immediately led to suspension talk:
Torres was assessed two minutes for interference, not a major for violating Rule 48 for a hit that targeted the head; meanwhile Seabrook left the ice, but returned for the third period after spending time in "the quiet room."
In this era of concussions and the NHL trying to minimize hits to the head, we're sure Torres will be sitting a few more games in this series. The fact that Torres is a repeat offender in the league's eyes and needed all of a period and a half to put himself in another precarious situation doesn't bode well when he spins the Wheel of Discipline once again.
UPDATE: Via our own Nick Cotsonika, here are some postgame quotes:
"Brutal. Major. Absolutely. They missed it. We could have scored four goals on that play. Is it a suspension? I don't have to worry about that. It's not my call. The guy didn't even get through his first game back off one."
"I compare that hit to [Ryan] Getzlaf on [Dan] Hamhuis, and [Getzlaf] didn't even get a two-minute minor. I didn't think [Torres' hit] was a penalty. Obviously you never want to see a player get hurt, and I understand where [the NHL] is going with it, but hockey is a physical game. I think each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game without players getting hurt, but in a collision sport there's always going to be injuries."
- Raffi Torres
- Brent Seabrook
- Vancouver Canucks