Torres avoids suspension from NHL
The NHL has deemed there will be no suspension for Vancouver Canucks forward Raffi Torres after his hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook on Sunday.
The incident occurred behind the Blackhawks' goal midway through the second period. Torres caught Seabrook with a shoulder-to-head hit that caused concern that it was a blindside hit.
Seabrook appeared woozy, but he didn't miss any significant time in the game. Torres was given a two-minute interference penalty on the play.
"That's good news," Canucks forward Mason Raymond said. "If he's not suspended, it's good to have Raffi back."
Seabrook remarked that he didn't see Torres coming. Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith called the hit a cheap shot, while most of the Canucks viewed the incident as a player who was caught with his head down.
While Torres has yet to comment on the play, Seabrook was disappointed that Torres was not suspended.
"That hit deserves a suspension," he said. "If I've got the puck, I'm fair game. I'm upset he hit my head and that was the first point of contact. When you have the puck you're fair game. If he stays on the ice and drives his shoulder through my chest, that's fine.
"I don't think he was trying to hit me in the head, but if the league isn't going to suspend that I don't understand."
Torres was playing his first game after serving a four-game suspension for a hit on Edmonton Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle during the third-last game of the regular season.
Vancouver won the game 3-2 to move within a game of clinching the first-round playoff series.
NHL senior vice-president Colin Campbell released a statement later on Monday to explain why there was no supplementary discipline for Torres.
"When Rule 48 [Illegal Check to the Head] was unanimously adopted by the general managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal," Campbell stated. "In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.
"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: he did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."