One of the most severe suspensions in NHL history was handed down by Brendan Shanahan on April 21 as Phoenix Coyote Raffi Torres is gone from the playoffs and beyond. Torres got 25 games for his open-ice, left-his-feet hit on Marion Hossa.
In other words, Brendan Shanahan at last grew some teeth as he leveled the largest fine he's doled out in this his first year as league head disciplinarian. Torres walloped the Chicago Blackhawk star near center, leaving his feet and his shoulder was aimed at Hossa's head. Hossa was taken off on a stretcher and has not played since and there's no word on if he'll be back should the Blackhawks advance.
In his ruling, Shanahan said Torres, who has been under suspension and fined 5 times previous, broke 3 NHL rules in the hit, guilty of charging, interference and of a hit to the head. While some fans and media will applaud the ruling, others will question why Shanahan hasn't doled out other severe suspensions for other dangerous plays during these 2012 playoffs.
Shanahan suspension rulings inconsistent
The circumstances of the hit on Torres are present to some degree in the hit on Henrik Sedin by Dustin Brown last week in the Vancouver Canucks series with the L.A. Kings. Brown did not get a suspension or a fine, or a penalty. Sedin said he felt the hit may have been legal but others felt it was to the head, that there was a charge involved and that Sedin no longer had the puck.
Shanahan gave zero games to Shea Weber for grabbing Henrk Zetterberg's head and smashing it into the plexiglass in the Detroit - Nashville series, won by Nashville, 4 games to 1. Carl Hagelin got only 3 for intentionally ramming his elbow into Daniel Alfredsson's head against the boards in the New York Rangers series with the Ottawa Senators; Alfredsson sustained a concussion and it's not known if he'll play again this season. Others have been suspended for headshots these playoffs, including Arron Asham (4 games), Byron Bitz (2 games) and James Neal (1 game).
As for Torres, when the Coyotes' season is over games not yet served will be served at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. He will not be able to partake in exhibition games until his suspension is served but exhibition games missed do not count toward the suspension.