NHL reduces Torres’ ban by four games; ‘Yote to miss 21 tilts
Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Stressing that a “very significant penalty is warranted”, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has trimmed the suspension of Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres by four games to a total of 21.
“We have seen similar behavior before from Mr. Torres and, particularly given the league’s heightened scrutiny on hits to the head, I believe that a very significant penalty is warranted in this case,” Bettman said in a statement Monday.
Bettman clarified that the reduction did not mean that the league is going soft on hard hitters, saying that “Torres’ on-ice conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in the league”.
Torres was suspended for 25 games after a vicious hit to the head of Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa during the teams’ first-round playoff series.
The suspension caused Torres to miss 13 playoff games for the Coyotes and is set to miss 12 more into the 2012-13 season. But it will go down to eight games after Bettman’s decision.
The commissioner’s decision to reduce Torres’ suspension came after the NHL Players Association filed an appeal on his behalf.
Torres met with Bettman at a hearing in New York on May 17 pursuant to his appeal of a 25-game suspension assessed by NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan on April 21
Because he is classified as a repeat offender under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres will lose over $170,000 in salary due to the ban.
In addition, Torres will be ineligible to participate in any preseason games due to the suspension.
Torres will be eligible to return to the Coyotes lineup on Nov. 2 when they visit the Ottawa Senators.
In 79 regular season games, Torres scored 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points. He also appeared in three playoff games, scoring one goal and one assist.