Torres suspended indefinitely
Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa, left, lies on the ice after being injured following a check by Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres during Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final playoff hockey game in Chicago, Illinois April 17, 2012. (REUTERS/Jim Young)
Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL, but that has done little to take away the anger of the Chicago Blackhawks who are without star forward and popular teammate, Marian Hossa.
The league made the announcement Wednesday afternoon following Torres' thundering open-ice check on Tuesday that forced Hossa to be carted off the ice by stretcher.
An in-person hearing will be held with Torres on Friday in New York, where it is expected that the multiple offender will be issued a stiff sentence.
"It sounds like they are going down the right road," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said following his team's optional practice here at the United Center. "A message needs to be sent."
Hossa's status for the rest of the series -- which resumes here Thursday night with the Blackhawks trailing 2-1 in games, is unknown. Several of his Chicago teammates said Hossa texted regularly with him on Wednesday morning.
Several of those players were still incredulous that the Torres hit went unpenalized in the game, which the Coyotes ultimately won 3-2 in overtime.
Chicago forward Patrick Sharp said players are well aware of the fact that Torres is a dangerous player given his past transgressions. The Blackhawks are well familiar with his act having faced Torres in playoff series when he was a Vancouver Canuck.
"I don't think it's too hard to lose respect," Sharp said. "You know it's coming. You try to warn your linemates when he's on the ice. But he's got a history of targeting guys heads and having questionable hits."