By Ben Meyer-Abbott
Raffi Torres is scheduled to have a hearing Thursday for the appeal of his 25-game suspension for his leaping headshot on Blackhawks star winger Marian Hossa, according to a report.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.ca in Canada reported Tuesday that Torres is scheduled to meet with the NHL about the length of the suspension for his hit on Hossa in Game 3 of the Hawks' first-round series with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Torres not expected to challenge the suspension itself, according to the report. The NHL Players' Association and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in attendance at the meeting.
Torres' 25-game ban was the longest suspension handed down during the playoffs in the history of the NHL and longest since Chris Simon of the New York Islanders was suspended for 30 games in Dec. 2007.
Torres has a well-documented history of suspensions and supplemental discipline. In his video explanation, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan pointed out Torres violated three NHL rules on the play and was aware that Hossa no longer had the puck.
"It is clear that he sees Hossa is no longer in possession of the puck because Torres takes a one-handed swipe at it with his stick," Shanahan said. "Torres then leaps into the air and drives his left shoulder into Hossa's. This is a violation of three NHL rules: interference, charging and illegal check to the head."
Hossa, who was stretchered off the ice and taken to the hospital after the hit, missed the rest of the Hawks' first-round series with a severe concussion. Torres reached out to Hossa a couple of days after 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 told reporters in a conference call two weeks ago. "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."