Just in time for the start of collective bargaining agreement talks with the NHLPA, NHL commissioner reduced Raffi Torres‘ 25-game suspension by four games:
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced today that he has suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres for 21 games for launching himself to deliver a late hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal Playoff series in Chicago on April 17.
The length of the suspension includes the 13 games Torres already served during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Torres therefore will remain suspended, without pay, for the first eight games of the upcoming regular season. Because he is classified as a repeat offender under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres will forfeit $170,731.68 in salary. In addition, Torres will be ineligible to participate in any preseason games until he has served the full term of the suspension.
“This type of on-ice conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League,” Commissioner Bettman said. “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. We hope and expect that the severity of this incident, and the League’s response to it, will help prevent any similar incident from occurring in the future.”
Cool — now Torres can get started on getting yet another suspension and/or fine four games earlier than expected. Have fun with that, Coyotes.