Saturday, April 21, 2012

The NHL Drops the Hammer on Raffi Torres


The NHL dropped the hammer on Phoenix Coyotes player Raffi Torres by suspending him for 25 games.
Torres illegally hit Chicago Blackhawks player Marian Hossa. Hossa was carried off on a stretcher and is yet to resume his play in the playoffs.

Marian Hossa Autographed Photo - 8x10
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This suspension could carry into the regular season, depending how many more playoff games the Coyotes play. This is one of the lengthiest penalties handed out during a playoff season.

I've been critical of the NHL's lack of toughness with goon players but I have no issues with the 25  game suspension handed down to Torres. I believed that Torres would be suspended for at least five games and was pleasantly surprised by the length of the Torres decision. Kudos to the NHL for getting tough with dirty players.

In previous comments (On other sites), I mentioned three reasons why Torres would be suspended for a lengthy  amount  of time. In explaining his decision, Brendan Shanahan laid out three components that whee considered and they were the same reasons that I had mentioned.

Late Hit
Raffi Torres is known to be a dirty player, who has no regard for a fellow player's safety. Torres doesn't respect anyone. Torres hit Hossa late, well after the puck had left Hossa's stick. Hossa wasn't near the play when he was hit. Torres clearly disregarded the safety of Hossa and didn't care that the potential for injury on this play was great.

Launching His Body
If the late hit wasn't enough, Hossa launched his body, leaving his feat and elbowing Hossa in the head. Hossa was carried of on a stretcher. Torres didn't seem to understand the consequences of his actions. He seemed to believe that this is how hockey is meant to be played. Raffi is a goon and should join ultimate fighting. There is no place in the game for this goon.

Repeat Offender
Torres is a repeat offender who has been disciplined three times in the last 13 months. No matter what the NHL does to try and send a message to Torres, regarding his dirty play, Torres disregards that message and continues to try an injure his opponents. The NHL had no option here but to send a serious message to Torres.

I personally think this goon will not learn his lesson. He's damaged goods as far as I'm concerned. I think he will repeat his actions and may force the NHL to suspend him for an entire season in the future. He may even be kicked out of the game at some point.

I don't know what goes through the mind of Torres but he has major issues in my opinion. Hopefully he takes the time during his suspension to seek help for what ever is causing him to play in this manner. It's definitely time that Torres embraces a new style to his game. It's OK to be physical and dish out hard hits but his dirty play needs to be eliminated. He will receive no leniency from this point forward.

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