Coyotes left wing Raffi Torres sends Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )
Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres was suspended for 25 games for his late hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, by far the longest suspension issued by the NHL's senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan.
Torres, a repeat offender, delivered the late hit in the first period of Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series on Tuesday night. Hossa had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher and ended up going to the hospital. He was released a couple of hours later.
"This is a violation of three NHL rules -- interference, charging and illegal check to the head," Shanahan said in a statement Saturday morning. "In addition to the fact that three separate NHL rules were violated with this one hit, two other factors were critical in determining the appropriate length of suspension:
“First, this violent and dangerous hit caused a severe injury. Second, Torres not only is a repeat offender as defined by the CBA, his extensive Supplemental Discipline history consists mainly of acts very
similar to this one – including two this season.
"Despite knowing that Hossa no longer has the puck, Torres decides to finish his check past the amount of time when Hossa is eligible to be bodychecked. That is a violation of the Interference rule."
The suspension will carry over to next season, should the 25 games not be served by the end of this year's playoffs. That would cost him $21,341.46 per regular-season game next season.
Previously, the toughest suspension Shanahan has handed out was to Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski. His 13-game suspension covered five preseason games and eight in the regular season.
Shanahan is in his first season as the league's chief disciplinarian.
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Torres receives 25-game suspension for hit on Hossa