The National Hockey Leagues' Player's Assoc. (NHLPA) filed an appeal on behalf of Raffi Torres for his 25 game suspension for a round 1 hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa. The NHLPA filed the appeal for the Phoenix Coyote forward May 3.
Torres hit Hossa during game 3 of the Phoenix/Chicago first round playoff series that the Coyotes won in six games. It's the lengthiest suspension new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has handed out since taking on the job to start the 2011-12 NHL season. It's the fifth time Torres has been suspended by the league in his career.
Torres: Open Ice Hit on Hossa
The hit was an open-ice hit and there was contact to Hossa's head, though Torres said that contact was unintentional. Torres issued a statement on the NHLPA website after the suspension was handed down:
“My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian," his statement read. "Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.”
If the suspension holds Torres will miss the remainder of these NHL playoffs and games at the top of the 2012-13 regular season. To date, Torres has missed six games; they Coyotes lead the Nashville Predators, 2 games to one in their second round playoff series.