Chicago Sun-Times

Marian Hossa starting to feel better after Raffi Torres' illegal head hit in the playoffs

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The last time fans got to see Blackhawks star winger Marian Hossa this season, he was get carried off the United Center ice on a stretcher.

It was a scary scene that took place on April 17 during Game 3 of the Hawks' first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes, which they lost in six games. And, it was an illegal shoulder-to-head hit from forward Raffi Torres that caused it.

Hossa didn't play the rest of the series with a severe concussion, but there is good news. He's doing better now.

"Definitely, it is better," Hossa said over the phone from his native Slovakia on Thursday. "But I'm still not feeling like myself. Obviously, it's going to take some time. It's step by step getting a little bit better and that's a good sign."

Hossa remembers playing the puck by the Hawks bench and trying to make a pass before losing it.

"Somebody just came and hit me, since then I don't remember much," Hossa said. "After the hit I don't remember much, I remember a few seconds of seeing Dr. [Michael] Terry. I don't remember being in our dressing room. I just remember a little bit in the ambulance and I woke up in the hospital. Basically, I remember a few seconds. In the hospital, I became better and remembered more."

Torres, a repeat offender with a long history of supplementary discipline, was suspended 25 games by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. On Thursday, it was made known that Torres and the National Hockey League Players' Association will appeal his ban.

"I believe he wouldn't have gotten 25 games if he didn't have the history of what's he done before," Hossa said. "He didn't get the 25 games because of the hit on me."

Hossa said Torres reached out to him, which was appreciated, but he made sure to tell him what he thought of the hit.

"I would say that it was nice that he contacted me, but I told him, I know he's playing that way, but the one thing that I was upset with was the jump," Hossa said. "If he didn't jump, I would maybe get hit, but not hit in my head and he wouldn't have the 25 games. Basically, I was upset about the jumping."

Coach Joel Quenneville called Torres' knockout blow on Hossa the ''turning point'' of the series. Hossa's loss was tough to compensate for over the last three games, but it's even tougher considering how bad he was doing at one point.

Hossa didn't have a point in the first three games of the series against Phoenix, but was a plus-3. He was an All-Star during the regular season, leading the Hawks with 77 points in 81 games.

It was the most Hossa had played since getting in all 82 games for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006-07. His 77 points this year also were the most since that season.

Hossa said he suffered a concussion before when he played with the Detroit Red Wings, but it was nothing like this.

"The good news is I'm slowly getting better," Hossa said. "Obviously, I'm not feeling like myself yet, but I'm getting better. I'm slowly going for walks, and that's a good thing. Training camp is still far away, and we'll see what will happen by then.

"So far, small steps, and I believe I'll be ready."

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6 Comments

Not condoing the hit at all but if Hossa Keeps his head up head contact is minimial to none at all.

Did you see the hit or read the article? Torres JUMPED into Hossa.
Hossa's head was up.

Checking is to separate the puck carrier from the puck, not to send puck-pursuers off on stretchers.

Torres knew Hossa didn't have the puck and went through with the interference-charging-headshot anyway. He could have avoided or minimized the hit, but that wasn't the point. Torres had been trailing Hossa like a heat-seeking missile for the first two games of the series for exactly this kind of hit.

Take a look at all of Torres' suspendable hits. Not a one that isn't predatory, behind the play, and on a puck pursuer. Raffi Torres is a player whose goal is to cause as many injuries as possible. He deserves a lot more than 25 games.

Hossa's head was NOT up. Torres did jump, and deserved to be suspended. However 25 games is too much, as a Coyotes fan I was think he would get 7 - 9 games. I already know the response from the Chicago fans and I don't want to hear what an animal player Torres is, when Chicago has the likes of Keith and Carcillo on their roster. Thats right, Carcillo who the Coyotes got rid of because he made stupid hits. Carcillo..didn't he get a raise from Chicago after a wicked, cheap hit? Hmmm pot - kettle. Twenty fives games was accessive.

BVW

You are an idiot in more ways than I have time to explain, and nobody here in Chicago, an actual hockey town, gives a sh*t what you think.

Given Torres' history (the main factor in the severity of the suspension) and obvious intent over the course of that history, 25 games was hardly e-x-c-e-s-s-i-v-e.

All i can ever say when i see torres play, no matter what team he is on, is "wow this guy is a scumbag." He has done the same thing over and over. Illegal and nasty hits like this put players careers in jeapordy. 25 games is too light in my opinion, I think the NHL needs to start expelling people like Torres to send a clear message to the other players. Launched hits to the head should be unacceptable, especially for repeat offenders, you cant repeatedly put players career at risk because of dirty, illegal play!! game suspensions and little fines are nothing to these guys.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on May 2, 2012 10:00 PM.

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Raffi Torres to appeal 25-game suspension for hitting Marian Hossa in the head is the next entry in this blog.

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