The news came down Saturday morning in video form (below): Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Saftey have suspended Phoenix Coyotes’ winger Raffi Torres 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa.
They got this one right.
On its own, the “incident” was probably worth at least a handful of games (being that it was three offenses – interference, charging, and an illegal check to the head). But given Torres history with supplemental discipline (five previous run-ins, three this year), the number grew exponentially.
You wonder at some point if Shanny started to feel disrespected and take Torres’ on-ice actions personally. You just know in his prior hearings Torres has tried to make his case every time. “Awkward angle,” “moved at the last second,” “unintentional.” Maybe Shanny was just sick of being lied to, because really, the video compilation of Torres’ hits is an absolute mess. He just won’t learn.
In comparison to other recent suspensions, it looks stiff. Hell, it is stiff. But if we’re sincere about changing behaviour, suspensions like this are a good place to start. I disagree with Nick Kypreos, who tweeted earlier today it still won’t change behaviour. Enough of these rulings will (that’s a lot of money to forfeit), and hey, look at Matt Cooke. Not saying he’ll never do something cheap again, but he’s proved to me that he’s at least tried to straighten up and fly right.
There’s always something to bitch about when these suspensions drop: consistency, length, the in-game refs, whatever, but hopefully this is our start, hopefully this can be the new measuring stick. Hopefully the next time Brendan Shanahan has to make a video he keeps his foot on the gas. And if not, well…at least he got this one right. Arguing a suspension is too severe is better than the opposite, as far as I’m concerned.
Torres is going to be passing up $21,341.46 for every regular season game he misses, which hurts. But, more playoff games for Phoenix equals less regular season games missed, and NHLers don’t get paid in playoffs. Can you imagine what a Coyotes fan he’s going to be the rest of playoffs? He’s missed one game already; if the Coyotes manage to go the distance in all four series, that’ll be exactly 25 games (smart of Shanny to ensure there’s no chance he could see another shift in playoffs and help his team), so he wouldn’t lose a penny. Every playoff game they play, he saves over 20k.
This suspension is tied for the second-longest all time, putting it just ahead of the 23 games Marty McSorely got for two-handing Donald Brashear in the head baseball style, and behind Chris Simon’s leg stomp on Jarko Ruttu (30 games). Simon also got 25 games for a slash on Ryan Hollweg.
Here’s the video for further explanation.
Oh, and if you recall, he also released this video: