Last night Raffi Torres threw a dicey hit on an opposing player (as balloons, confetti and streamers fall from the ceiling rewarding me for typing that for the 100th time), and we’re going to take a look at it. So far, the NHL hasn’t followed up on it, so it seems like there won’t be any supplemental discipline.

(Update: Yeah there will be.

Part of me wonders if they won’t just tell him to f*** off and not come back, but that probably wouldn’t be very professional.)

The facts:

Raffi Torres comes from below the goal line and up to take care of his role defensively. As he skates up in the Kings’ zone, he sees that Jarret Stoll is going to get possession of the hockey puck. Being a physical player, he decides to throw a hit. Stoll has bent down to play the puck with his glove. Torres hits him with his shoulder, impacting Stoll on the side of his head and shoulder simultaneously.

My opinion:

I think it’s a bad hit, I really do. Jarret Stoll didn’t return for the third period due to “upper body issues.” AKA his brain.

I guess I’m just sick of having this “did he mean to or not” conversation about Raffi Torres because he’s absolutely lost the benefit of the doubt in these cases. His history of cherry-picking the head on these plays is too long.

Objectively, maybe he hits Stoll’s shoulder at the same he hits his head. Maybe. But I think Stoll is a little vulnerable, and Torres takes advantage of that to “clip” him, as he often has in the past. I’d like to see him get suspended for at least a few games, but knowing his history, I suspect the League wants to deem this a clean hit, because if they don’t, they have to put him in the press box for a long, looong time.

Your opinion:

In the comments, we’d love to hear if you think this was a malicious play, a hockey play, or something totally different. The caveat: as always with “Court of Public Opinion” posts, you have to honestly list your favourite team (I have no dog in the fight as an Isles guy). That doesn’t mean if you’re a Kings fan and you think it was vicious and terrible that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think it helps with context.

Comments (102)

  1. Hi! Sharks fan here, and this was a near-miss in my opinion — in that I think Raffi was actually aiming to hit Stoll’s head, and didn’t quite get his target as square as he intended.

    I like what he’s done for the Sharks to date, but this is the kind of thing I was worried about when he came over to San Jose — and this eliminates any good graces he had from me for the game-winning OT goal in game 2 @ Vancouver.

    • Bruin’s fan. Having watched the hit from several angles, I would have to say this is a clean hit. As Torres glides into Stoll his shoulder and elbow pass in front of Stoll and (better seen from the reverse angle camera shot) his back contacts Stoll’s chest and face simultaneously. He does stand up from his crouch and stand Stoll up at the same time. If you are foolish enough to be in a crouch, playing the puck with your hand while coming out of your own end, you kind of deserve to get hit, (hard).

      Torres is guilty of playing at 100%, and I would have made the same hit in that position. I don’t believe in cheap shots and actually think that in cases where there is a penalty called the league should hand out a minimum suspension, PLUS the offending team should have to play short of a comparable player to the one injured for the same amount of time as the injured player has to stay out.

      This would go a long way to eliminating cheap/head shots and ensure a level playing field for any team that sends out a goon to debilitate a good player. Let’s have the game played hard and clean! Eliminating all of the clutching, grabbing and hooking has improved the game immensely let’s take it to the next level.

    • Rangers fan. Suspend him to hell.

      Everybody’s an idiot, talking about intent and “bad luck”.

      In the rest of our society, we fixed these problems like a million years ago by having something called Manslaughter, as well as the harsher Murder sentence. Why the hell is this so hard?

      You injure somebody, you get suspended. Nobody will ever get concussed on purpose just so they can get that reckless 4th-liner suspended.

    • Kings fan here.
      I was at the game, didn’t see it as my seats are on the other side of the ice

      But Torres knows he’s going to be scrutinized and he has the play the game like an NBA player who is one reach-in or grab or hack away from fouling out of a game. He continues to act in a careless reckless manner with no regard for his past

  2. THis is a similiar hit as Grbya’s on Eller and should end up in asuspension. ForTtorres, it should be for 4 games or more.

    • Agreed, very similar to that hit. I think he’ll get 5 as it’s an in person and he’s a repeat offender.

  3. Coyotes fan, I think it was shoulder to shoulder and just happened to catch his head. Don’t think there should be a suspension but there probably will be.

  4. Rangers fan, so no dog in this fight…

    Except for loathing Raffi Torres.

    I wish we could get the opposite angle on video so we could see Torres’ eyes go wide as dinner plates when he sees Stoll in that vulnerable position.

    All he needs to do is drive through Stoll horizontally and he seperates the man from the puck and crushes Stoll in the shoulder.

    Instead, he pops up through the shoulder and head and now LA is a little less deep through the middle.

    Shouldn’t he have learned by now?

    Get him out of the game. ASAP.

  5. I’m a Blackhawks fan so you can guess how much benefit of the doubt I’m giving this dangerous asshole.

    What I’m even more tired of is how fast the media rushed to assure us all that he was a ‘changed player’ – in a display of excellent timing, NBC had a segment on that last night. He started the season still suspended from the last time he tried to kill a guy, and then managed not to maim anyone for a few months, which surely he’s done before. Why on earth would anyone think he’d cleaned up his act?

    • HAWKS fan myself and I gave no love for this guy. I think he is a dirty player and deserves to get booted and to never return. He obviously has no respect for the game or opponents if he is willing to cause intentional head trauma.

  6. What this Kings fan saw:

    1. Seeing it live and watching the video, I can’t really tell where he hits. Its probably shoulder first, but its really close and I can tell for sure.
    2. Stoll was in a “defenseless position,” but he did put himself there. In the previous suspension videos there is personally responsibility there, but the League doesn’t seem to use it as an excuse anymore.
    3. There was a visible head snap (back to the issue on item #1).
    4. Stoll did not return to the game.
    5. It’s Raffi Torres. History matters.

    In summary, I think he will get a call from the league to talk. I have given up guessing what is going to happen with suspensions with the league. Right now I am guessing no suspension, but wouldn’t be shocked either way.

  7. Blackhawks fan, so I don’t like Torres…..this looked like shoulder and a touch of head, but shoulder as principle point of contact. Stoll put himself in a vulnerable position & paid for it. Wasn’t a charge, didn’t leave his feet or use the elbow. no supplemental discipline.

    • Ranger fan. This basically was what I was going to say. Didn’t see the reverse angle, but from this angle it looks like mostly shoulder to me. He didn’t leave his feet or even rise up much. The key thing is Stoll was low already, which made him more vulnerable. Does that make him off limits for a hit? Not sure, really, but despite the history I really don’t think Torres was out looking to ruin someone here.

  8. Bruins Fan. I think I read on puckdaddy that he has a hearing not sure if its in person or phone.

    I don’t like the hit. My guess is he misses a couple games. He is a repeat offendre though and it seems Stoll isn’t doing so well I could seeing it being lengthy. I don’t know what they should do with Torres. Suspending him hasn’t changed the way he plays the game. He obviously doesn’t respect the other players on the ice.

  9. Bruins fan. I thought Torres got shoulder and then head on the hit, and he did not charge into him. That being said, it’s apparent that Stoll was not aware of his presence and was therefore a vulnerable target. For a first-time offender, they might get a game for this. For Torres, they’ll probably make an example of him in the 6-10 game range

    If Stoll had an inkling that Torres was there, I would buy the argument that Stoll put himself in a bad position. But the onus is on the hitter to recognize the situation and adjust accordingly.

  10. Kings fan here, but bias aside, Stoll is vulnerable, there is shoulder to head contact, hit results in injury, Raffi has a lengthy history of these situations — aka repeat offender — , and as always, Raffi is baffled that a penalty was even called on the play. He either still has no idea what he does is wrong, or is unable to modify his play to conform to acceptable standards. Given the measuring stick of his prior suspensions, I think there has to be some amount of supplemental discipline here.

  11. This is bad. He was aiming for the head and if Stoll was more upright Torres was going to “chicken wing” him with an elbow. I am an Islanders fan and not upset that Milbury traded Torres.

  12. Sharks are my second team, after the irrelevant Avalanche.

    Dirty hit. It’s hard to tell from the one crappy angle, but it looks like Stoll is totally unsuspecting, which is why, even if the shoulder is the principal point of contact, his head snaps so hard.

    Does Stoll have a reasonable expectation of not getting murdered while he’s in that awkward position? I think so. A two-handed shove on the shoulder or ribs would have taken him off the puck and out of the play, and a coasting hit would have sent him back to the bench wondering if maybe he could have been a little more aware of his surroundings. But a charging Raffi Torres cannonball sends Stoll back to the bench wondering who all these people are, and why it’s so bright in here.

    Sounds like Torres is going on vacation.

  13. Kings fan here, and as noted above there’s a better angle on the NHL Network (or NBC Sports) feed of the hit that shows, quite clearly, that the shoulder hit the head.

    I think this is at least two games, possibly more.

  14. Islanders. Looks like he caught mostly shoulder to me.

  15. Kings fan, but I’m pretty objective about this sort of stuff.

    1) Seeing it full-speed is most important, and that’s been pointed out by DoPS in the past. At full speed, you can see that Stoll put himself in a defenseless position, and that there IS movement by Stoll before the hit. That might play a role in the hearing.

    2) I think Chris has a point in this being similar to Gryba/Eller, on this ground – Torres didn’t take a good trajectory. He could have crushed Stoll clean through the body, but he takes an improper line. I think you could argue it’s because Stoll starts to stand up and changes position, but is the position change enough?

    3) You can tell that the head is the principal point of contact by the snap. There’s not really a snap forward, just a snap back, which indicates he got the head pretty good. The shoulder was hit, but just barely.

    CONCLUSION: Based on the head being the principal point of contact, and the head “being targeted” (which apparently is how Shanahan defines taking a bad trajectory during a hit), I think it warrants a suspension. I don’t think it will be more than 5 games, if only because of Stoll starting to stand up – “a significant change of position prior to the hit.” I think it boils down to whether Stoll standing up is deemed a significant enough change of position to pare down the games or waive the suspension entirely.

    3)

  16. Sharks fan.
    Not a Torres fan, but losing him would be huge to the team – he has been very effective.

    I’m not exactly sure what Torres is supposed to do there. Step aside and left Stoll go by? He hits him shoulder to shoulder, and yes, he carries through to the head. Hockey is a tough game sometimes.
    He does hit hard. This was a hard hit, and that’s why the trajectory continued through him. Do we really want to take hard hits out of the game?

  17. The Daryl Sutter presser is legendary. I have watched it 3 times. Can we get a reality show on him?

    As far as Raffi, his prior history is hard to hide from. It’s an attempt to injure a player regardless of where the hit wound up being. Suspension from series is my opinion.

  18. I’ve looked at this one a few times and it *seems* like a shoulder hit to me, I would like to see the reverse angle. Can’t tell. Leafs fan.

  19. Phoenix fan. Raffi will be suspended for 57 games according to NHL DPS logic.

    I think that is a fine-able hit at best. Shoulder is intended target, stolls a bit low, shoulder glances and continues to head.

    But it is raffi, so he’s gone again.

    Still amazing all the dirty play that goes untalked or less written about.

  20. It was a clean hit. Was it a violent hit with an unfortunate outcome for Stoll? Yes. But that doesn’t make it suspension-worthy and neither does Torres’ reputation.

    If it weren’t for the injury, we’d be praising Torres for his awesome hit against Stoll.

    I understand the importance of protecting players, but we are turning hockey into the ice capades. It’s sad, really. I think it’s a matter of time until refs start issuing yellow cards while players lay on the ice, pretending to be injured while clutching their shin guards. Ugh.

    Also, a player’s reputation and status in the league impacts calls and suspensions way too much. Last year, Dustin Brown was the almost-traded playoff darling. As such, he endured very little scrutiny for a number of questionable hits. In my opinion, he is just as dangerous as Torres, but is exempted scrutiny due to his star power and captaincy.

    Side note: Ryan Kesler should be a soccer player.

    • Why is it this guy seems to have “bad luck” follow him. Pack his suitcase and send him packing. Seriously, he’s a changed man and the Cubs are going to win the World Series.

  21. Leafs fan.
    I think we need to stop trying to determine whether or not they attempted to hit the head or not . When I was reffing minor hockey, they brought in the head-checking rule -any hit to the head (even if it was the shoulder or by a player who was two feet taller) was considered a penalty (minor, major, match depending on the severity). It helped limiting the type of hits to head (they still happened but I noticed less frequency as the seasons went on).
    I’d like to see this adopted in the NHL -it might limit the need to suspend a player anytime there is a hit to the head but still recgonize that it is a dangerous play.

    As per Torres hit. I think he targeted the shoulder, but ended up with too much contact to the head which is inevitable given Stoll was in such a vulnerable position and bent completely at the waist.
    I think it’s suspendable.

  22. Bruins fan. I actually think this is a clean hit, technically – though Torres was trying to make it dirty. Around 0:39 of the video you still Torres crouch and extend upwards – and Stoll, who was skating heads down at the time, sees him at the last moment and sits up a bit. I think this helps Stoll because Torres hits the shoulder first. Stoll’s head whips sideways but it’s not clear whether it’s from the shoulder impact or if Torres got his head too. But it seems clear that Torres was aiming for where he thought Stoll’s head would be.

    Torres and Cooke are two guys who I think have long outlived their shelf life in the NHL. I keep hearing how these guys “turned it around” but this sort of stuff keeps happening. I’m sick of seeing their names come up in relation to guys whose careers are threatened due to injury.

    • What has Cooke done lately? Other than a few Ottawa fans mad about the EK hit, I haven’t heard of anything else about him recently.

      • Cooke hasn’t done much as notable as Torres has, apart from the Karlsson thing. While I don’t think Cooke was trying to stomp Karlsson there, I did find that play to be so improbably accidental, hence my point in including him here. My only point is that there are tons of other, very physical players in the NHL who have similar skill sets to Cooke and Torres, and you don’t hear their names keep coming up for stuff like this. I don’t think these guys are out to injure anyone, but that they play with a kind of recklessness that gets them and other players in trouble.

        • The next Bruins game I watched after the Cooke hit, I saw Boychuk use the same leg pinning maneuver. I think after the Sens owner’s team of investigators “prove” Cooke purposefully sliced Karlsson’s tendon, they will next help OJ find the real killers….

        • The only reason you keep hearing Cooke’s name is because people like you keep bringing it up. He hasn’t done anything remotely questionable in a long time, including the incident with EK.

    • I thought this court of public opinion was in response to Torres’ hit, not on other players.
      Pens fan.
      And the hit looks mighty shady to me.

  23. So basically 8 called it clean to mostly clean, 5 called it borderline and 9 called it mostly dirty to dirty. When you eliminate the Kings and Sharks fans and the people that admitted to hating Torres, 5 called it clean and 4 called it borderline. Looks like too many people are getting emotional and reading the name on the jersey first.

    Sabres fan, thought it was mostly clean. If you want to punish the hit because it was dangerous/reckless, that’s just fine by me.

  24. I hate the way the NHL does discipline (not exactly alone in that).

    With only the one angle, I don’t think it’s a terrible hit but…not for lack of trying.

    I hated the Gryba suspension because they clearly penalized a bad outcome of a hard but fair hit.

    If we’re going to take more into consideration than the actual hit, let’s do it in a productive way.

    It’s like the Dustin Brown hit/attempted mugging of Jaden Schwartz…Tores was trying to throw an illegal hit. They shouldn’t get off easy because they missed.

    Is it unfair to have a double standard for some guys? No. If you cross the line too many times you get your own personal line and it’s lot stricter than people who haven’t taken liberties with other players wellbeing and livelihood. You don’t want to be subjected to stricter scrutiny? Fine, play within the rules from the start of your career.

    So final verdict….for the majority of the players in the league it’s not a suspension. For Torres? See you in October.

    Oh and Rangers fan so my dog is sleeping and not in this fight.

  25. Kings fan, I think it was a bad hit (Torres goes UP, not THROUGH) but the Sharks had to know this day was coming. You don’t sign acquire Raffi Torres and then not expect there to be some kind of suspension that harms your team. Torres had provided a lot of benefits to their squad this season, and now it’s time to pay the piper.

  26. Pens fan.

    Head contact was made hard enough to knock him out of the game, so, in my opinion, principle contact doesn’t matter. And even though Stoll put himself in a vulnerable position by playing the puck with his hand, he had mostly righted his position by the time Torres hit him. Combined with being a repeat offender on a yearly playoff basis, he really should get his ass tossed out of the league, but that won’t happen, because the non-hockey media will turn Torres into an issue that puts the NHL in a bad light. Next best fine is banned from the playoffs, no matter what two-bit hack team is paying him.

    At least Cooke stopped targeting heads.

  27. Canucks fan.

    It looked like a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit when I first saw it. It looks like a hit to the head from the reverse angle, though. Really hard to say. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a 2-game suspension due to Torres’s history and the borderline nature of the hit.

  28. Kings fan here, and 5 years ago, this is a clean play. Now under the more stringent “Stop hitting defenseless players” posture the league has taken, Raffi is likely to get suspended.

    In my opinion, it started as a clean hit, but carried through to the head, which in today’s NHL is a nono. Raffi saw Stoll was vulnerable, and as this was in no way a bang bang play, he lined him up for a hit that would do the most legal damage. Stoll moved a bit to avoid the contact it looks like, and viola, head contact was made on the follow through. If Torres had just gone straight for a full body check this would have been avoided. The NHL has repeatedly the last 2 years told players that the checker has some responsibility to pull up/lessen the damage/avoid make legal hits into cheap shots, and Torres didn’t even attempt this at all. I’d say he’s gone 2 games, maybe 4.

  29. Blues fan here.

    The fact that Torres is still in the league and hasn’t just been forced into retirement is shameful. He’s had several chances to clean up his act and has blatantly not done so; he should have been a poster boy for the NHL to show they’re serious about eliminating head injuries.

    That aside — his actual intent here is irrelevant. As Ellen pointed out several weeks ago, the NHL punishes results regardless of intent in several other cases (high sticks etc) and should absolutely take the same line regarding hits to the head. I don’t care if you leave your feet, if you meant to make shoulder contact, or if someone pushes you into contact with another player’s head — you are responsible for your own actions. You are responsible, at all times, for your stick and you should be just as responsible for making sure you do not contact another player’s head. The fact that this is even still a debate we can be having is monstrous.

  30. Flames fan
    Torres has a history of recklessness, but that alone does not make him guilty. Here, he clearly hits Stoll’s head, when he could have accomplished all he needs to by a hit to the body. He just doesn’t know how to back off and consider how to be aggressive without trying to injure the opponent. The snap of Stoll ‘s head is what the league is trying to prevent…..suspension is a given….and given his history, 4 or 5 games.

    Have fun on the links Torres.

    The Cronehead

    • Totally agree with your call here, Cronehead. Torres is just to stupid, so it seems, to change. This hit was legal when he started as a pro, but the league has made it clear enough to him that it no longer is. He could have easily crushed Stoll with a clean body check, but Torres just doesn’t care to.

      • “He could have easily crushed Stoll with a clean body check, but Torres just doesn’t care to.”

        This. Again and again, this.

  31. Im starting to feel like the “did he mean to argument” is almost completely invalid at this point. Maybe for a first time offender, i’m willing to have that discussion. But the league wants no more head shots. Accident or not, this was a head shot. Accident or not, this is Raffi Torres and he has a long history of “accidents”.

    Sorry but he needs to be suspended for AT LEAST the rest of this series, if not the rest of the playoffs.

  32. Wild fan:
    Torres recklessly hits Stoll in the head. In person hearing with Torres’ history, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is gone for the series.

  33. HC Dukla Trenčín fan. Throw the book to him,, he’ll probably leave his feet to catch it (in the head with a shoulder).

  34. Rangers fan.
    It appears to me that Torres almost seemed to avoid a clean shoulder hit to cut in front and get the head. I might be based on his past.
    4 games atleast

  35. Canucks fan here, and I agree. Intentional, incidental, or whatever. The hit doesn’t look malicious and Torres while he does drive up, doesn’t look like he targets the head. However, enough is enough with these hits that result in head injuries that seem to always be caused by the same handful of players.

  36. Blackhawks fan here. I’ve hated Torres for a long time. Yes, HATED, and not just because of the hit on Hossa last year. When I first watched the video, I didn’t see anything wrong. But after replaying it at full speed over and over, you can see Torres begin to crouch as he’s coming toward Stoll, and then spring as he makes the hit. No, he didn’t leave his feet. But he DID propel himself upward into Stoll. I don’t think this would be an issue if it was somebody other than Torres, but he’s dug himself into quite a hole when it comes to dirty play.

  37. If this gets a suspension then you might as well go to NHL = No Hitting League. Please this isn’t even debatable but cuz its Torres its news. Meathead Shanahan, go back to the boondocks if you suspend Torres.

    That is why hockey blows in the USA.

  38. I’m a Sharks fan and I’ve hated Torres for a long time. Not because of his hit on Michalek, but mostly because of Hejda, Eberle, and Seabrook. The hit on hossa was the capstone on the whole mess.

    It was really hard for me to stay a fan of the team whe we acquired him at the trade deadline. Everyone booed him initially, but everyone’s since been all about Raffi Torres and talking about his “reformation” Apparently, 48 games (or less!) for everyone else is enough to be considered reform. I have no idea how Phoenix fans handle this, but I assume the typical person shrugs their shoulders and stows all their baggage about the guy.

    Knowing that I’d have to see him on the team for the rest of the season, I decided on a few things. First, I’d boo him on his first shift every game. Second, if he scored, I wouldn’t cheer. Thirdly, I stopped wearing my jersey to the games.

    (It’s worth noting that #2 was hard as he scored a game-tying goal later in the season. I was in the stands for it and I was the only Sharks fan who didn’t stand up and do the usual post-goal cheering. It’s a small thing, but it matters to me, so whatever.)

    You can see him targeting Stoll while the puck is on the boards from the behind-the-net camera and if you look through the closeup angle, frame-by-frame, you see the frst thing on Stoll that moves is Stoll’s head after the collision.

    The reverse angle makes it look like he straightened up a little and that might give him a little wiggle room with Shanahan. In addition, it’s (barely) not interference because Stoll grabbed the puck out of mid air and had just dropped it on his stick before getting walloped.

    I hope they ban the bum so I can get back to feeling good about my team. Players like him and Bertuzzi have no business lacing them up in the NHL where they use their skills to destroy the best hockey talent on the planet.

    • You said everything I came here to say and you said it better than I could. He’s been good for the Sharks, and losing him could hurt, but I don’t like him, don’t like him being on the Sharks and wouldn’t complain if he was gone.

    • Love your comment. I am sure there are more fans of the Sharks that don’t want than do. I just don’t think he will ever change his game. I don’t want to see anyones career end over it. What really bothers me more than anything he never shows remorse.

  39. Im tired of this argument, but unfortunately it will never go away [even if we punish all hits to the head automatically, "intended" or not]. But Im the guy who wants severe punishment for anyone who hits a player in vulnerable position. There is no reason for Torres to throw that hit *except to throw a big hit*.

    Stop the video at :05. Stoll is completely bent over, and Torres is already lining him up. There is almost zero chance that Stoll can do anything to put Torres in a bad position here. Torres can simply take the man, and the play is broken up.

    Inb4 “keep your head up” arguments as if every guy in the league is going to stake around for 60 minutes hunched over like Stoll is.

  40. Canucks fan here.
    It was a typical Torres hit, so yeah it was dirty. Now I remember why we dumped his crazy ass.

  41. Pens fan here. I think the point of contact in this hit is fine and I think the hit itself is just fine.

    Justin, it seems like you’re trying to say Torres should have “let up” on the hit given Stoll’s vulnerable position. I fail to see how this is over the line but you scoffed at the idea that Gryba should have let up on his hit on Eller when Eller was in a far more vulnerable and dangerous position. Two entirely different type plays, I know, but my question is more to the idea of letting up on a guy in a vulnerable position.

    • It’s entirely possible to hit a guy hard without hitting him in the head. Due to the vulnerable position of stoll, it makes contact with the head that much more likely. The fact is, the NHL doesn’t want guys going done with head injuries so they’ve made it pretty clear that they don’t want players hitting other players in the head. Whether it’s intentional or not isn’t really the issue anymore. There’s plenty of mass on these guys that you can still hit them hard from the shoulders down. If you can’t manage to play under enough control that you don’t wind up clipping the shoulder and following through on the head, then you’re going to get the supplemental discipline.

      Torres had the option to hit Stoll lower in the body, but decided to go high up around the shoulder. And guess what, like a number of shitty hits he’s made before, he managed to make contact with a player’s head.

      Whether it’s intentional or accidental isn’t really the issue anymore. He’s either a dirty hockey player, or a reckless hockey player. Either way, he’s getting suspended because neither option is acceptable in this league.

  42. Pens fan.

    The reverse camera angle looks really bad. I don’t like Torres’ chances of escaping without a suspension here. I can see 5 games for sure. I didn’t think Gryba was going to get anything.

  43. nucks fan. clean hit. keep your head up! its a contact sport. where’s the accountability on stoll to not skate the length of the ice with his head down… cause if he does this, no one can hit him and not get a hearing from shanny. guys going back for a puck put themselves in a vulnerable position (#’s straight in forechecker’s face) now because they hope it will stop the forechecker from smashing them, and or draw a penalty. when they get smashed they wonder why, then they go out on the first pp unit.

    • Nobody is saying you can’t hit a guy when his head is down. What we’re SAYING is, “you can’t hit a guy in the head”.

      There’s a significant difference.

      • So everyone should duck down before and hit and we’ll get everyone suspended. Great lesson

        • He didn’t bend down just prior to getting hit. He was bent forward to play the puck, and the principal point of contact, instead of being the body, was up at the shoulder/head.

          Why is it so difficult for you guys to understand this. You cannot hit the head in today’s NHL. It’s pretty fucking simple. Yeah, 10 years ago this was a “great” hit. Today, they want to see more guys continue skating rather than get helped off the ice.

          Torres could still have hit him as hard as he wanted in the body.

      • Torres didn’t target the head here nor did he hit Stoll just in the head. He definitely mostly got shoulder and because of stoll’s HEAD WAS DOWN some head contact was made. It is hockey, it happens. THE HEAD WASNT TARGETED. Stoll should have kept his head up. He knows better, and now has been reminded.

        • And in no way am I saying I’m happy Stoll got hurt. Of course I’m not. I wish him a speedy and full recovery.

  44. It’s just karma coming back to bite Stoll. He didn’t get fined or suspended for his bullshit hit on Cam Fowler earlier in the year that forced Fowler to miss 11 games

  45. You are a fucking idiot. Raffi made a clean hit.

    Have you ever played hockey aside from EA Sports on the XBox? Well let me tell you a thing or two…..you never, never, never skate with your head down and Shanahan better get his facts straight before he doles another bullshit suspension.

    He’s a disgrace to the Red Wing organization. Raffi does not deserve to be painted with the suspension brush every time so cupcake can’t keep his head up or can’t take a check.

    Its hockey, hitting happens. If you don’t like it play golf. It’s a lot cheaper on your parents believe it or not.

  46. Torres’ history shouldn’t be the basis for your guilty verdicts. Has he made some dirty hits? Yes. Is this one of them? No. Nor was it charging. He clearly glides into that hit. Should ducking players take some responsibility? Absolutely. Players are taught from a young age to keep their heads up. Torres can’t control Stoll’s positioning. He also didn’t leave his feet here and the hit wasn’t blind-side. Sounds like a case of guilty once, guilty every time thereafter. Doesn’t float for me.

  47. Flyers fan here. Initially when I saw the hit I thought it was clean but upon revisiting it I am iffy on the hit and with the players history it HAS to be taken in account.

  48. Kings fan here.

    Granted he’s no Dale Hunter but there’s no room in the league for these kind of hits anymore. NFL has made rules protecting defenseless players and those hits aren’t nearly as hard as in the NHL.

    If it was a random incident that happened once a slap on the wrist in the form of fines/suspension is alright. For this DB who has a notorious history get rid of him for the rest of the playoffs. Sends a message to both the players and their teams.

  49. I’m a Blackhawks fan so I’m neutral here as far as teams. I hate Torres because of his history and what he did to Hossa last year, but I think this was a clean hit with an unfortunate result for Stoll. Maybe Torres should not have made the hit out of common sense but I don’t think it is punishable because it wasn’t dirty and wasn’t malicious in my opinion. Again I really dong like the guy so I’m surprised to be on his side.

  50. Blackhawks/Rangers fan here (I’m English, so i get to pick two teams!)

    The worst thing about this hit is you didn’t used to see these kind of hits at all until the last 5 years or so. I don’t really understand where this style of hit has come from.

    It used to be if you were side on with someone you just used body strength and lean in to win a battle. Hitting in my mind shouldn’t be the percentage play in this kind of situation.

    • Seriously Google Scott Stevens when you crossed his blue line and didn’t keep your head up you came to in the back of an ambulance heading to the General Hospital, just ask Paul Karia our Lindros. They never saw the freight train that ran them over. These guys in the NHL aren’t rookies and they know they should keep their head up. Turning the NHL into an expansion European hockey league.

  51. There is a difference between using a hit to seperate a player from the puck and stone aging him. I’m in favor of the former and against the latter.

    It’s a matter of degree. Torres could have and should have made a smarter hit. He would have no issues.

    No team affiliation just love hockey.

    • Are you saying that the hit on Wingles by Penner was just a hit to separate him from the puck? Can’t have double standards here.

  52. As many of the commenters have said, Torres won’t get the benefit of the doubt any more. Yes, a different standard will be applied to him than to other players, and that is how it should be. The NHL, cherry picking cases or not, did pick his, so they already talked to him about this. It is only human nature to be pissed off when someone ignores you. Was he targeting the head? In his case it doesn’t matter- he didn’t try hard enough to avoid it.

    This is how the discipline system has to work if it is going to make any difference to player safety. Players can’t think that each incident is isolated, they have to know that if you cross the line once the penalty will not end and you will be held to a different standard.

    Teams have to know this too, and do a better job of keeping their players in check. The Sharks had to know that he could be a liability. They said they were trying to get a “physical player,” they said it was a great thing that other teams would be nervous about Torres being on the ice. If they couldn’t make it clear to him that he alone must never ever touch anyone’s head again, they deserve to be penalized too.

    Torres was playing well for the Sharks, without injuring anyone. Losing him and not having a viable replacement will hurt the team in this series. As a Sharks fan, I’m sorry for that but I can’t say it is unwarranted.

    • Completely disagree with you. The NHL can’t have vague standards, it will water down the game.

    • This make absolutely no sense. There are other players that play just as dirty but are more popular.

      I don’t want to see any players hurt not just the superstars. But when did hockey change into the biggest whiner wins. It’s almost to the point that I don’t enjoying watching

  53. First it was a good clean hit. Secondly, it was no worse than the intended hit on Wingles that was delivered by Dustin Penner, or the high elbow hit that Brown delivered in the same game. If the NHL suspends Torres and not Penner or Brown, it sends the wrong message and subsequently Shannahan should be replaced. The Torres hit was legal and a good hockey hit period.

  54. Hawks Fan, but mostly just a fan of crisp, clean hockey. The problem with Torres is that he still doesn’t realize that fans (like me) don’t want to spend the equivalent of two weeks worth of groceries for tickets to a game that doesn’t include Jarrett Stoll, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Sydney Crosby (I know, Torres didn’t injure him, but he’s missed enough games with concussions), etc because players like Torres are taking them out. For that kind of money I want to see the game’s stars, not Raffi Torres.

    A solid body to body hit to separate the puck from somebody is one thing, but you don’t need to stretch upward toward the head to do this. The injuries this sort of thing causes are serious, and it’s immoral to keep doing this or to be allowed to do it.

  55. Sharks fan here,

    It looked to me, from looking at a couple different camera angles, that Torres targeted Stoll’s shoulder. Stoll started to straighten up as Torres turned into the hit, causing Torres to glance the shoulder instead of hitting it dead-on, resulting in injury. If it were any other player, no supplementary discipline is warranted. There is no clear indication that the head was the primary point of contact, that the head was targeted, or that the hit was reckless. It wasn’t charging, it wasn’t interference, it wasn’t a foul. But he’s Raffi Torres, and it would send a bad signal to other players, the fans, and an insult to God Almighty for Raffi Torres to not be suspended when somebody gets hurt.

  56. Hawks fan here. I don’t think it matters if it was a good or bad hit. Head contact + Raffi Torres = suspension. Also, I think he will get 20+ games, not because the hit was so bad, but because the LAST time Torres got a 20 game suspension (or whatever it was for the hossa hit), it obviously had no deterrent effect. The purpose of suspensions is to punish and deter dirty plays. Torres has demonstrated that a 20-something game suspension had no deterrent effect on him. Therefore, a suspension of fewer than 20 games would certainly be ineffective and pointless. Moreover, I wonder if the NHL is looking at the Boogaard lawsuit and thinking that it could someday get sued for failure to enforce its own rules effectively. If Torres ends someone’s career, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a lawsuit against the league for failure to take appropriate action against Torres prior to the injury. In other words, I wonder if the league has considered that failure to really drop the hammer on Torres could result in potential exposure to liability in the future.

  57. Hawks fan. Torres is dangerous to the game and the league needs to do something about him before he ends someone else’s career.

    From about the 1:20 mark, you see hits very similar to the one on Stoll.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOTlhWVePtE

    He has got to go.

  58. Some of you guys are fucking pussies.

    If Stoll wants to skate around with his head down, he deserves to get railed. It’s the playoffs and people are going to be coming after you no matter who you are. That being said, it’s still a clean hit. He didn’t charge, didn’t elbow, and although he made contact to the head, it was a full body check. Fucking legal.

    This call, and the subsequent call for a hearing was made solely on the reputation of the player

  59. Go look at the video. Torres made the hit low. Fire contact as with stoll’s shoulder.
    The first thing you learn in hockey is keep your head up. This is the playoffs in the NHL not some high school league. If anybody else on the ice had made the exact same hit it OR if it had been against a 4th line player it would not have been a penalty let alone a suspension.

  60. Leafs Fan. Seriously whats the league doing to the game, first Grbya’s hit on Eller totally legal as well as Raffi’s hit on Stoll. Grown professional men playing a contact sport. Stoll and Eller probably run across intersections without looking both ways. Thornton nailed it in the post game “I was taught in six and under to keep my head up” Good old Sask farm hand Wendall Clark would be in Shannis office every week if he was playing this new pussy brand of hockey. ITS A CONTACT GAME you want to play rec hockey get on a plane and play in Europe. Remember Scott Stevens he’d get kicked out the league with these ridiculous new chances to the rules. Keep your *%^$^*%( head up.

  61. Pens/CBJ fan here.

    The NHL has to get rid of head hits. End of story. Incidental, intentional, principle point of contact, initial point of contact, head up, head down, degrees of responsibility, the ridiculous nit-picking, all of that crap is going to have to go by the wayside eventually.

    Two reasons for that: one, players are going to want to have the use of their brains when their playing days are over. Two, litigation is looming and it’s not going to go away. At the very least, the League is going to have to deal with that, even if in reality they don’t care whose brains are scrambled at retirement.

    It means a rough transition period, for sure. There will be unfairness, both real and perceived, for quite a while. Things will be missed, some players will be suspended or fined undeservedly, some will escape. There will be outrage all over the place.

    But I think it’s necessary in the long run. I think Shanny knows this, and it’s one reason for the inconsistency we all complain about – I think he’s still trying to figure out what he’s doing while waiting for the League to finally make all head contact illegal no matter what.

    And then we’ll have to go through all the moaning about how “you can’t even hit a guy anymore” and “it’s a contact sport” and “go watch soccer.” And then there will be all the lovely gendered insults about how they should just play in skirts.

    Not to mention all the pontificating about keeping your head up, for the love of god, keep your head up, you’ve been taught that since age 6, so if you end up with a mushy brain, it’s all your own fault and you deserved it.

    I know I can’t wait.

    But the attitude that any player of any sport is simply a body, one that is expendable solely for our entertainment, one that can be easily replaced when it’s broken by another expendable body, is simply immoral.

    And don’t tell me they know what they’re getting into when they sign up, that no one is forcing them to play, or that they’re making a lot of money to play a game. (That last one is pure envy if you ask me.) They’re human beings, first and foremost, not disposable commodities, even if we view them that way.

    In this particular case, I do think reputation is involved, but that’s the way it goes. Supplemental discipline is all about changing behavior. Torres apparently tried, but made a mistake again this time. By all accounts, he and Stoll are good friends off the ice, so I would imagine there was no intent to injure, just recklessness and/or carelessness.

    However, for me the bottom line is head contact is head contact, neither intent nor resulting injury should matter, and it’s going to be eliminated sooner or later.

  62. Kings fan, admittedly. Torres is the poster child for the law. He’s the reason why the law is there. He salivates at blindsiding. If, IF the NHL deems the hit illegal, to suspend Torres for anything less than a career crippling suspension would be irresponsible. IF the hit is deemed illegal, then the position should be that Torres (with his history) is now beyond rehabilitation, and then what? To let him on the ice again, sentences at least one more player to be wounded and hospitalized, before the league does eventually ban him. That’s IF the hit’s deemed illegal. If it’s not, then he should have the privilege of playing again immediately.

  63. “So far, the NHL hasn’t followed up on it, so it seems like there won’t be any supplemental discipline.”

    They’ve spoken now. No more Torres in this series.

    Hopefully, no more Torres, at all.

  64. Time to hang the sheriff, Shannahan is a joke. I can’t believe this moron has a job. First Gryba on Eller, NO PENALTY STRAIGHT BODY CHECK. The player has to be responsible for keeping his head up pure and simple and that is how hockey has been played forever. Now the Torres hit on Stoll and an open ended suspension. RIDICULOUS Torres could have put Stoll in a body bag but he showed restraint elbows tucked in and lowered himself to line up the shoulder. Stoll popped up at the last second and there was NO PRINCIPAL POINT OF CONTACT TO THE HEAD. After the shoulder to shoulder contact Stoll ran into the back of Torres body. The NHL is making me sick its contact hockey and they’re turning into European hockey. I cant watch 30 seconds of Finland playing Sweden, unless Canada or the USA are playing the world cups not worth watching. TIME TOO SHOOT THE SHERRIFF

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