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Torres’ Hit on Hossa: How does it live up to other big NHL Suspensions?1
Here is a video of Torres’ nasty shoulder hit on Hossa in the Coyotes vs. Blackhawks 4/17/12 playoff game . Torres got a 25 game suspension for this hit. Even though this is a injury-causing shoulder hit, 25 games is a long time. This ensures that Torres will not play until part of the way into next season (and he will definitely miss the rest of the playoffs this year).
I was left to wonder if I have ever seen such a long suspension in the NHL. I did some research and there were some (but not many) suspensions that were for 20+ games (only 5 in total that were for 25+ games). Needless to say, the video footage is hard to watch. I was surprised to see how much these suspension-causing penalties differed. Torres got in trouble for throwing his shoulder into an illegal hit, but some of these other suspensions were caused by punching, cross-checking, slashing to the face, and even an attack on a referee.
Check out the hit that ended Steve Moore’s career and got Todd Bertuzzi suspended from March 2004 until August 2005.
30 games is the highest number of games a player has ever been suspended for. That record goes to Chris Simon of the NY Islanders for stomping on the leg of Jarkko Ruutu.
Chris Simon also got a 25 game suspension for slashing Ryan Hollweg in the head. This might be the worst one to watch. Ouch.
And lastly, the only player who was suspended from the NHL for life was Billy Coutu of the Boston Bruins in 1927. He started an all-out bench-clearing brawl in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final when he attacked two of the referees (yes, tackling was involved). The NHL ban was dropped after a couple years, but Coutu never played again. Unfortunately for all of us hockey fans, there is no footage of this event (considering it was in 1927). And just to put that in perspective, that was 2 years before there were any rules about off-sides in the NHL.
Do you think the Torres suspension was fair? Should he have received 25 games? Now we just have to wait and hear if Torres is going to appeal his suspension.