Raffi Torres got what was coming to him on Wednesday.
The NHL has suspended the Coyotes forward for the ugly cheap shot he delivered to Marian Hossa's head in Game 3 of their playoff series on Tuesday night, according to a tweet by Renaud P. Lavoie:
Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely, pending an in-person hearing Friday, April 20.— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) April 18, 2012
The hit, which came at the 11:51 mark of the first period, left Hossa sprawled out on the ice. He was removed on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital. Phoenix won 3-2 in overtime.
According to USA Today's Mike Brehm, Hossa was released from the hospital with "encouraging results."
Speculation has led many to believe that Torres' hit was retaliation for Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw's hit on Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2. Shaw received a three-game suspension for the hit, and Smith did not miss any time. However, he did require attention from team trainers following the hit.
After Tuesday's game, Torres defended the hit by telling Yahoo! Sports' Greg Wyshynski:
First off, I hope he's all right. As far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play, just trying to finish my hit out there...The last thing I'll say is a I hope he's all right.
What It Means
When the league suspended Shaw for three games following a hit that didn't even knock Smith out of the game, it set quite a precedent. Torres' hit just one game later was arguably much worse.
This isn't the first time Torres has faced such disciplinary action. In the last 13 months, he has faced two suspensions.
What Comes Next
The Coyotes will be without a winger who contributed 15 goals and 11 assists during the regular season. You have to figure Torres will be banned for at least the remainder of this series.