After being handed a 25-game suspension on Saturday for his check to the head of Marian Hossa in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes released a statement through the National Hockey League Players Association that hinted he may appeal the ban.
From the NHLPA, Torres said:
"My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian.
"Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision."
This follows a statement from Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney, released earlier in the day, in which the Coyotes disagreed with the "severity" of the ruling, but accepted it:
"I want to thank Brendan Shanahan and his staff for their thorough review of this incident," said Maloney. "The ruling is very severe for Raffi and our Hockey Club. Raffi plays a hard, physical game yet this contact crossed the line on what is acceptable in our game today. We hope Marian Hossa makes a full and speedy recovery as we all enjoy watching him perform. The Club accepts the NHL's decision and will focus on our game tonight."
Why would Torres and the NHLPA appeal it?
Obviously, Torres might feel he's been scapegoated, given the duration of other similar hits and the fact that his ban is among the longest in NHL history.
We were also told earlier on Saturday by a source that the NHLPA may appeal the ban for its open-ended nature: There's never been a playoff suspension that carried over such a large number of games to the following regular season.
In Torres's case, if the Coyotes don't play 25 games in the playoffs, the remainder of his suspended games will be served in 2012-13, and he would be prohibited from participating in any exhibition games. Seeing as how the NHL built exhibition games into suspensions earlier this season, perhaps the NHLPA sees an issue with that.
You know, the guy who hired the guy who suspended Torres for 25 games. Although, he's also the guy who owns the team from which Torres has been suspended for 25 games. Worlds are colliding!