Wow. Just not even sure what to say about this one, but I don't think any Chicago Blackhawks fans can really complain about Andrew Shaw's 3 games in the press box any more. Brendan Shanahan has suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres for 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa, or the entire rest of the playoffs if the Coyotes were to reach the Stanley Cup Finals and each series went 7 games. The suspension will carry forward into next season.
Shanahan's suspension video is after the jump. The picture above is courtesy of www.azchatfield.net and was tweeted by Coyotes color analyst Tyson Nash...
I don't think any of us believed that Torres should not have been suspended. While I don't agree with Shanahan's characterization of certain elements of the hit, or his emphasis on the injury sustained due to the hit, there is no denying that Torres is a repeat offender and that the NHL needed to do something to try and get these playoffs under control.
For those "fans" of Chicago that are chirping Tippett, Nash and the Coyotes organization for defending their player, get over yourselves. None of them truly believe that Torres' hit was "clean" and unwarranting of a few days in the press box. However, you don't go to the media and say...oh yeah, Raffi really needs to be suspended for a bunch of games. If you can show me ANY other organization whose coaches and team personnel did that (prior to a suspension being announced), I'll send you a cookie. Even TSN's Bob McKenzie didn't believe the hit was this brutal (and based on suspension length, this is apparently the equivalent of Chris Simon slashing a player in the face as he skated by after previously being suspended for stepping on a player's ankle).
Torres is a scapegoat here for the NHL, and that's fine. The Coyotes will need to figure out how to replace his minutes and grit on the ice...I don't see it being a big deal. It's more important that Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski get healthy and on the ice.
Update: Statement from the Team
COYOTES STATEMENT REGARDING TORRES SUSPENSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, April 21, 2012
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has issued the following statement regarding Coyotes forward Raffi Torres’ 25 game suspension that was announced today by the National Hockey League.
“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.”
The Shanahan Explanation: