NHL reduces Torres suspension
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The National Hockey League revealed it has reduced the number of games remaining on Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres' 25-game suspension stemming from his hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in last year's playoffs.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the move on Monday, cutting down the remaining number of regular-season contests Torres is scheduled to miss to eight.
The reduction came as a result of Torres' appeal to league senior vice president of player safety, Brendan Shanahan.
Torres was given that ban for his open-ice hit on Hossa in the first period of Phoenix's 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 of a Western Conference quarterfinal on April 17. He left his feet to deliver the shot, which forced Hossa off the ice on a stretcher and to the hospital. Hossa did not return in the series, won by the Coyotes in six games.
Torres, who was not penalized on the play, has served 13 games thus far, and would have had to miss the first 12 games of the upcoming season to satisfy the full punishment issued by Shanahan.
At the time of the ruling, four days after the incident, Shanahan said Torres violated three different rules on the play in question -- interference, charging and illegal check to the head. He added that the severe injury caused by the hit and Torres' status as a repeat offender factored into the length of the suspension.
It marked the fifth time Torres received supplemental discipline for illegal hits, including the third time last season alone. He was also suspended two games in January for a similar hit against Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser after being fined for an elbow to the head of Colorado's Jan Hejda in December.
Torres will forfeit a total of $170,731.68 in salary for what amounts to a 21-game absence. Since the suspension carries into next season, he also won't be able to participate in preseason games.
07/02 13:54:58 ET