Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL with an in-person disciplinary hearing set for Friday in New York.
Torres delivered a leaping, shoulder-to-head hit to Marian Hossa in the first period of Game 3 on Tuesday. Hossa was hospitalized because of the hit and later released.
Torres' hearing was originally planned for Wednesday afternoon, but it was deferred at the request of Torres and the National Hockey League Players' Association.
"It sounds like they're going down the right road," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said Wednesday. "It sounds like a good start."
Should a message from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan be sent?
"I think so," Toews said. "You can get into all the other things that have been going on in the other series right now and talk about the precedent that's been sent, what's been done before and where this falls in. It's tough to really know where it does it fall in, what any individual would do if they were in a position to suspend a player.
"Hopefully, they come up with something that is satisfying for us, but I think the most satisfying thing for our team and for [Hossa] is to go out there and win [Game 4 Thursday] and get our team back on our feet here."
Torres is a repeat offender and has delivered numerous head shots in the past. He's likely facing a lengthy suspension.
"As far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play," Torres said after the game. "Just trying to finish my hit out there.''
This isn't the first time Torres has struck the Hawks with a hit deemed dirty or predatory. Exactly a year ago Tuesday, when Torres was with the Vancouver Canucks, he delivered a shoulder-to-head check to a puckless Brent Seabrook in the playoffs, resulting in a concussion.
"It was the same thing when he was with Vancouver last year," Toews said. "He probably thought that was a hockey play too. There is no remorse at all I don't think with a guy like that when you pretty much take him out and have a guy carried off on a stretcher. He probably doesn't feel bad about it at all. That's not hockey to me."
Plenty of Hawks exchanged texts with Hossa Tuesday night after the game and on Wednesday. Patrick Sharp described him as in "good spirits."
Hossa won't play in Game 4 Thursday. Rookie Brandon Saad, who was recently called up after a standout season in the Ontario Hockey League, is expected to take Hossa's place in the lineup.
"It's tough to take a guy like Marian out of the lineup," Sharp said. "You can't really replace him."
There have been seven suspensions and one fine handed out this postseason, including Andrew Shaw's three-game ban for running into goalie Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in Game 2. Shaw has always maintained it was accidental, considering his head hit Smith's facemask initially.
Shaw's suspension drew ire from many as other suspensions for seemingly worst offenses carried less weight.
Center Dave Bolland said players need to have respect for others and that Torres deserves a strong suspension.
"It might be a respect level," Bolland said. "It's just getting out of control. Things are getting to be a joke around here.
"We'll see what happens. It's in the hands of Shanahan now."
Coach Joel Quenneville reiterated his stance that it was "a brutal hit" by Torres. Torres, though, was not penalized for his hit on Hossa during the game.
Hossa didn't have the puck at the time; Torres was trailing the play. An NHL official said the hit ''went unseen'' by on-ice officials, and that's why no penalties were assessed against Torres.
Quenneville sounded off on the officials after the game, calling it a "disgrace." He said Wednesday that he is yet to hear from the league about a possible fine.