4:31 PM EDT, April 21, 2012
Raffi Torres got a 25-game suspension for his dirty, despicable, flying hit that knocked out Marian Hossa in the first period of Game 3 of the Blackhawks-Coyotes playoff series.
But you know what? After listening to NHL sheriff Brendan Shanahan, Torres got off light.
I mean, when Shanahan runs down the punk’s rap sheet, it’s wonder he didn’t get a year’s suspension.
I’m not surprised the NHL made a bad decision. That’s what Shanahan has pretty much done all postseason. But at least it made some semblance of an adult decision.
No doubt, 25 is a big number, but the NHL sounds like it’s trying to get back all at once the irretrievable loss of credibility from the non-suspension on Nashville’s Shea Weber, who grabbed Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg’s head and blatantly rammed it into the glass.
For that heinous and stupid act in a league that claims to be fighting head shots, Weber got zero games of suspension. Repeating: zero games.
He was fined a mere $2,500. And the NHL postseason has gone to hell since then. It has been prison rules. An embarrassment. A mess.
That’s why 25 games isn’t enough for me. If you’re going to go over the top to send a message, then do it – half a season. In fact, half of next season on top of the rest of these playoffs would’ve been good for Torres’ brutal, moronic act.
When you hear Shanahan rattle off every crime Torres committed on the play and also rattle off every crime for which he has been suspended previous, it’s hard to believe that Shanahan went so easy on that goof.
Shanahan said Torres broke three different rules on the play --- interfering with Hossa, charging into Hossa, and targeting Hossa’s head.
What’s more, Shanahan factored in Torres’ leaving the Hawks forward to be stretchered off the ice and taken to the hospital.
What’s still more, Shanahan went on and on about Torres’ previous suspensions.
And what’s even more than that, Shananhan pointed out how most of Torres’ crimes were for the same type of dangerous and idiotic act.
This screams all kinds of awful. This sounds like all kinds of punishment coming.
Torres exemplifies one of the worst parts of the game. He’s a repeat offender who committed yet another gutless, career-threatening act. He should’ve gotten 40 games.
But hey, it could’ve been worse. The NHL could’ve done some cockamamie thing the way it did with Weber. I mean, it wouldn’t have surprised me if the NHL safety department didn’t buy him lunch or get him a towel.