NHL suspends Torres 25 games for Hossa hitBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Apr 21, 2012 3:48 PM EDT
The NHL suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres 25 games on Saturday for his hit on Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. The hit occurred during Game 3 of the teams' first round playoff series on Tuesday at United Center. Torres was suspended indefinitely the next day. League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan announced the further punishment on Saturday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Shanahan said that Torres broke three NHL rules during the hit, although he was not penalized by officials. He listed interference, charging and illegal check to the head as Torres' offenses. "This violent and dangerous hit caused severe injury," Shanahan said in the newspaper's report. "(Torres') extensive supplemental discipline history consists mainly of acts very similar to his one, including two this season." Torres has been fined or suspended five times in his career. Hossa was knocked unconscious by Torres' hit. He was lifted onto a stretcher and taken off the ice. He was then taken by ambulance to an area hospital and later released. Torres said after the game that he hoped Hossa was OK, but defended the hit. "But as far as the hit goes, I felt like it was a hockey play, just trying to finish my hit out there," he said. Shanahan strongly disagreed. "Despite knowing that Hossa no longer has the puck, Torres decides to finish his check past the amount of time when Hossa is eligible to be bodychecked," Shanahan said. "That is a violation of the Interference rule." Shanahan also said, "While we acknowledge the circumstances of certain hits may cause a player's skates to come off the ice, on this hit, Torres launches himself into the air before making contact. This is a violation of the Charging rule." He added that by leaping and making Hossa's head the main point of contact, he violated the Illegal Check to the Head rule. Torres' suspension would carry over to next season as well if the 25 games are not served by the end of the playoffs. He also would not be allowed to participate in preseason games. Any regular season games Torres misses will cost him more than $21,000 in salary per game.
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