Ah, the luck of the Irish, just when Brendan Shanahan needed some kind of statement to make that he had the NHL playoffs in hand, Raffi Torres rose to his rescue, his launch into Marian Hossa just the thing to lay down some NHL law and quell the growing cacophony of concern over the wild west nature of the first round.
The NHL put Raffi out to pasture for 25 games, good enough to ensure he won't be seen anymore in this playoff year and if there is hockey in October, Raffi will have more time to think over the error of his ways.
There's no doubt that the Torres hit was a gruesome thing, not the first one he's administered, leaving some to wonder what took the NHL so long anyways. Such was the nature of the Torres assault on Hossa that even that champion of the gladiator, he of the rock em, sock em videos, Don Cherry welcomed the banishment of Torres, calling him a headhunter and one who should be taken out of the game for a while for the good of the rest of the league's players.
Now when you manage to make an on ice hit that can turn Don Cherry into a champion of lengthy punishment, well you've clearly made your mark and now Torres can spend his summer and part of the fall to decide what kind of hockey player he wants to be, if indeed he has a future in the NHL after his latest incident.
There's probably a reason he has bounced around from team to team, his actions tend to make the other players on his team targets, costs his team in penalties when suspensions are not issued and we have an inkling he's the kind of guy that probably wears out his welcome pretty quick.
Torres issued a statement on Saturday, leaving open the prospect of an appeal, which is his right, but realistically he should just use the time off to better understand his style of play is not what the game should be about.
All of that being said, and we believe the punishment more than fits the crime in this instance, one has to wonder if perhaps this could now be the new NHL standard for blatant attempt to injure hits. Already coaches and GM's are using the Tores ruling to suggest that incidents in the other series currently going on could use a little of the same ole Shanahan justice.
Time will tell, on that one, every once and a while the NHL rises to the challenge to reign in the ugly in the game, this was one instance where that has happened, there are others in the past that could have had the same kind of punishment, there will no doubt be others to come before the Cup is handed out.
The Department of Player Safety has put down a foundation for punishment, in a playoff season where consistency has been a problem, perhaps now, we can see the line drawn over what is going to be acceptable in a hit and what is beyond the bounds of safety, let alone civilized behaviour.
Over to you Mr. Shanahan, keep your guideline close, we have a feeling you'll be asked to consult them again sometime before June ends.
Globe and Mail-- NHL throws book at Torres, but it's a two tiered system
Globe and Mail-- NHL's Raffi Torres suspended for 25 games
Globe and Mail-- NHL discipline isn't just about Shanahan
Globe and Mail-- Torres decision may well define Shanahan's regime
Globe and Mail-- The longest suspensions in NHL history
National Post-- Raffi Torres suspension sends strong message to repeat offender
National Post-- Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for hit on Marian Hossa in Game 3
National Post-- NHL Hockey has entered a very dangerous phase
National Post-- Raffi Torres just a small part of the NHL's bigger problem
National Post-- After Raffi Torres hit, NHL needs to show it's serious
Toronto Sun-- What about the refs in Torres' hit?
Toronto Sun-- Length of Torres ban wrinkles some GMs
Toronto Sun-- NHL finds scapegoat in Torres
Toronto Sun-- Torres gets 25 game suspension
Toronto Star-- Repeat offender Raffi Torres deserved walloping for illegal hit
Toronto Star-- Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for Marian Hossa hit
Toronto Star-- Shanahan throwing it all away
Toronto Star-- Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke defends NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan
Toronto Star-- Raffi Torres ruling a chance for Brendan Shanahan to show who's in charge in NHL
Chicago Tribune-- Coyotes' Torres suspended 25 games for hit on Hossa
Chicago Tribune-- Torres' punishment doesn't ease Hawks' pain
Chicago Tribune-- Torres gets off easy
Chicago Sun Times-- Raffi Torres gets 25 game suspension for hit on Marian Hossa
Chicago Sun Times-- Hawks hope 25 game suspension on Torres sends message
Chicago Sun Times-- Coyotes GM: You'd think Raffi Torres murdered busload of kids
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for hit ...
Montreal Gazette-- Brendan Shanahan, the NHL disciplinarian, just can't win
Sportsnet-- Setting the Tone with Torres
NESN-- Brendan Shanahan deserves praise for slapping Raffi Torres with 25 game suspension
NBC Sports-- Shanahan sets precedent: Raffi Torres suspended 25 games for Hossa head shot
The National-- Vicious hit was Coyote ugly