Raffi Torres may be done for the season. The Phoenix Coyotes player was suspended indefinitely for a vicious hit on Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. Torres will not be playing in tonight’s game against the Hawks and may be out for the rest of the playoffs.
AZ Central reports that Torres will meet with NHL officials on Friday to discuss the hit and his suspension. Torres has a history of dirty hits in the NHL so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Torres hit with a 5 game or more suspension.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett defended Torres, saying that his player didn’t go out with the intent of hurting Hossa. Tippet said:
“I’ve seen a lot of other hits like it in the league. It’s a fast game… The thing about TV is you can slow it down. When you’re out there on the ice, it’s not slowed down. It’s a fast game. I don’t think there was any malicious intent on Raffi’s part. He’s a hard hitter. He turned, coming full speed, caught a guy right in the chest. Unfortunately, the player was injured.”
There was no penalty on the play but Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The Blackhawks player has been released from the hospital and is currently resting at home. He will not be playing against the Coyotes tonight.
Chicago’s Patrick Sharp said that the Blackhawks talked about Torres before the game and warned each other to be careful on the ice. Sharp said:
“There’s only been one dirty hit in our series and you saw the same thing from that guy last year in the same series… You know it’s coming. You try to warn your linemates and be aware when he’s on the ice. He’s got a history of targeting guys’ heads and having questionable hits.”
Hawks’ Andrew Brunette said:
“In the history of the game, hitting is used to dislodge a player from the puck, not the intent to injure when you don’t have the puck because you aren’t aware. To me, that wasn’t a hockey play… When you don’t have the puck, there shouldn’t be that kind of contact.”
Here’s a video of Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa.
Torres has been suspended for dirty hits in the past. The Coyote player was suspended for two games earlier this year for a high hit on Nate Prosser. He was also suspended at the end of the 2011 season for elbowing Jordan Eberle.
Do you think Raffi Torres should be suspended for his hit on Marian Hossa? Do you think the Hawks will be able to win tonight their veteran winger?