The Raffi Torres Illegal Hit Leads to His Indefinite Suspension by the NHL

UPDATE, APRIL 21, 2012: Raffi Torres has been suspended 25 games.

Last year, we ran a story about Raffi Torres' Game 1 heroics in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins. We shared his story of what it was like to be a Latino kid playing hockey in Canada and how he broke stereotypes to become an NHL player. Today, Torres, who is of Peruvian and Mexican descent, graces our pages, but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, Torres is a dirty player, and from the looks of his hit against the Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa in a playoff game between Chicago and the Phoenix Coyotes, Torres represents all that is wrong about this style of play in the NHL.

Here is what happened: 

The consequences of such a dirty hit has been the talk of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs this week. Everyone in the hockey world has weighed in, and everyone agrees: Torres' hit is bad for hockey. Sure, the level of play gets intense during the playoffs, but you can't jump off of the ice and go after a guy's head, when that guy has his head down. The following tweet, by the venerable Bob McKenzie reflects what people are saying about Torres' hit:

Tonight, Torres was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for his illegal hit. He will also have to visit the NHL offices in New York this Friday, and we think his suspension will last for the rest of the playoffs, and beyond. This type of play is not new to Torres, who only last year did a similar thing to Chicago's Brent Seabrook when Torres was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Will he ever learn? The only way is for the NHL to send Torres a lesson: no more hockey for this year and for the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.

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