Torres caught an unsuspecting Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook up high during the second period, a collision that drew an interference minor. But the NHL decided to take no action on Monday and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell explained in a statement why that was:
"When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.
"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: he did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."
Seabrook, for one, said Monday there should have been another ban in the offing, according to CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers:
Asked if he was surprised Torres didn’t get a suspension on the hit, Seabrook said, “yep.”
“With his history I think that hit deserves a suspension. Not going to complain about that. It’s a fast game. Things happen quickly. You have a split second to make a decision. He wasn’t trying to hit me in the head but at the same time if they’re not going to suspend somebody for that I just don’t understand that.”
“I think he kept his elbow in but he hit the head first,” Seabrook continued. “As far as I’m concerned that’s the only thing I felt. The rest of my body’s feeling the rest of it today. Whether or not he was targeting (my head) he made contact with the head first.”
Here’s a look at the hit. Seabrook was knocked out of the game briefly after another check by Torres later in the period of the Canucks’ 3-2 victory over the ‘Hawks, although Seabrook returned for the third. The Canucks lead the series, 3-0.
Torres was playing in his first contest since he was suspended four games for a hit on Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville, according to CSN Chicago, took more issue with the fact his team wasn't given a major penalty for the collision.
“I have no problem with that as far as the league views it. They know the standards, they know the criteria. They do a good job with that. The call on the ice is where we got hurt the most,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It should’ve been a major penalty because he didn’t touch the puck. Hit like that you could be exposed to severe injuries and that’s the intent of a major call.”
-- A.J. Perez