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Raffi Torres suspended indefinitely, will have in-person hearing on Friday

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes has been suspended indefinitely for his hit on Marian Hossa and will have an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Friday, the league announced on Wednesday.

Even though Game 4 is on Thursday in Chicago, the hearing won't take place until Friday, meaning that Torres will miss the first game of whatever length his suspension will be. According to the Canadian Press' Chris Johnston the hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was pushed back by request of the NHLPA.

The suspension stems from Torres' open-ice hit on Hossa in Game 2 that resulted in Hossa being taken off the ice on a stretcher and going to the hospital. He was released a short while later and is back home.

But on the play there was no penalty to Torres, who was suspended earlier this year for a hit that was pretty similar, a charge on Minnesota's Nate Prosser.

You can expect a long suspension coming Torres' way after this. It's the perfect storm from the suspension perspective: It was an illegal hit, Hossa suffered a serious injury on the play and Torres has a rap sheet with the NHL. The fact that it's an in-person hearing opens up the possibilities of the suspension to be five games or more, which I'm sure this one will be.

In a way I think this is sort of a gift for Shanahan. In no way do I mean that he's glad Hossa suffered a serious injury on the play, of course that's the furthest thing from the truth. But the league has been under a lot of pressure in the first week of the playoffs and here Shanahan has himself a bit of a sacrificial lamb. Torres is the perfect target for a long suspension and I am going to go on the limb and say he gets just that. It gives Shanahan a chance to make a statement with a suspension.

After the game on Tuesday, Torres didn't have much of a comment on the play other than to call it a hockey play and to say that he was finishing his check.

The reaction from the Blackhawks was much different, as you'd expect. Coach Joel Quenneville called the referring a "disgrace" and captain Jonathan Toews didn't hold much back either.

"We've got four guys out there. When there's a guy getting carried off on a stretcher, you think that there might be something wrong with what happened," Toews said. "It's why it was frustrating that [Torres] got to stay in the game, because it wouldn't surprise me if he tried to do something like that again. If nothing happens to him, I don't see why he won't try it."

Toews then added a little more on Wednesday after the suspension was announced as indefinite.

Go ahead and make your guesses now on what the suspension will be. I'm going to say 8-10 games.

More from Eye on Hockey

Hossa taken off on stretcher after Torres hit
Coyotes broadcaster receives threats for reaction

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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