Torres Wants Suspension Reduced
The Raffi Torres hit on Marian Hossa came at the right time for the NHL to flex their muscles.
At least that’s what those close to Torres believe.
The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was an absolute nightmare for the league. They didn’t do much to help themselves but it was a storm that got worse by the day.
From Shea Weber’s WWF head slam, the Royal Rumble between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and the UFC main event with Ottawa and New York we could go on and on.
NHL fans were given a daily dose of head shots and Brendan Shanahan explanations. Which are harder to watch depends on who you ask. How many have the first 20 seconds of Shanahan’s videos memorized?
Quickly the NHL was on center stage, but for all the wrong reasons.
For those who need a reminder….
Chicago’s Andrew Shaw received 3 games for a collision with Mike Smith
Pittsburgh’s Aaron Asham four games for a cross-check to the chops of Brayden Schenn.
His teammate James Neal just one game for two head shots on one shift. Sources tell me the NHL ruled Neal was trying to protect himself on one of the hits. Seiously?
Washington Center Nicklas Backstrom also got one game for cross-checking an opponent at the end of a game.
I’m probably missing a few but this gives you an idea of how busy Shanahan was in just a few days.
In the meantime Shanahan and the league got crucified for inconsistent rulings that confused the hell out of everyone including those playing in the NHL.
San Jose’s Brent Burns elbowed Blues forward Scott Nichol square in the head only to have it go unnoticed by Shanahan.
Here’s Comes Raffi….
The situation couldn’t have worked out better for Shanahan and company. The poster-boy for head shots lays out Marian Hossa and immediately the hockey world goes crazy.
The heat from the media was swarming and who better than Raffi Torres for the NHL to make a splash? Were they truly sending a message or succumbing to the overwhelming pressure?
The question Torres and his people want answered is how they came to 25 games? 25 games will prevent Torres from playing in the playoffs even if Phoenix reaches the finals and plays the maximum number of games allowed.
Sources say the Torrres camp wants to know why he wasn’t given the Matt Cooke treatment. Cooke, another post-child for NHL violence, wasn't suspended for a flying elbow on Marc Savard. It should be pointed out there was a different sheriff in place at the time.
Savard by the way probably won’t play another NHL game in his life.
At any rate Torres and his people would like to see the number reduced. They’d also like to see him be able to play in the pre-season like other suspended players have in the past?
Commissioner Gary Bettman can take his time before responding to the appeal although the NHLPA has asked that it be handled in a timely manner. Bettman has several options including re-hearing the case, doing it by conference call, or simply denying the appeal.
Would Bettman be throwing Shanahan under the bus if he did reduce or change the suspension? From a league perspective it's already done.
There's a good chance this is a ploy by the NHLPA to try and revamp the process while the new CBA is being negotiated.
Sources say Torres understands he deserved to be suspended. Did it deserve 25 games? Considering he’s a five time repeat offender some will argue the punishment is appropriate.
Was he given a fair shake or did the firestorm lead to the NHL making Torres the example?
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
More to come,
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