Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension

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Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension

Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted: 12:38 p.m. Updated: 2:23 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Vancouver forward Raffi Torres was not suspended for his shoulder-to-head hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, TSN was reporting on Monday morning.

Torres received a two-minute minor for interference on the hit that came late in the second period. And thats the part that coach Joel Quenneville was more focused on than suspension possibilities.

I have no problem with 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, Quenneville said. It shouldve been a major penalty because he didnt touch the puck. Hit like that you could be exposed to severe injuries and thats the intent of a major call.

READ: ProHockeyTalk.com's take on Torres not being suspended or fined

Quenneville added that Seabrook is likely to play Game 4 tomorrow, one the Blackhawks need to win to keep the series alive.

Torres had just come off a four-game suspension to play in Game 3. Asked if he was surprised Torres didnt 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. Its a fast game. Things happen quickly. You have a split second to make a decision. He wasnt trying to hit me in the head but at the same time if theyre not going to suspend somebody for that I just dont understand that.

I think he kept his elbow in but he hit the head first, Seabrook continued. As far as Im concerned thats the only thing I felt. The rest of my bodys feeling the rest of it today. Whether or not he was targeting (my head) he made contact with the head first.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said he hadnt heard from the league at the start of his press conference and had no comment on the matter.

Henrik Sedin said the league had a good look at it and they saw what a lot of guys on the ice saw, thats its one of those things that you have to be accountable to know where guys are on the ice. Its nothing we really think about.

Seabrook kept playing after that Torres hit but the Blackhawks made him go off for evaluation after another one, when there was about three minutes remaining in the second period. He came out after second intermission and played the rest of the game. He said suspensions should be based on the hits, not on the injury or lack thereof.

WATCH: Quenneville says hit on Seabrook was brutal

I think if the leagues suspending based on the injury from the hit or whether the guys missing games or lying there getting carried off on the stretcher, I think thats wrong, he said. Theyre trying to take head hits out of the game and youve got to make the suspension the same judgment on whether or not he was taken off on a stretcher or playing the next shift.

NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell issued the following statement on the ruling:

"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'."

What is and isnt considered a legal hit is always up for debate. A player having the puck, being at a certain part of the ice, there seems to be different criteria for everything.

I just think at the end of the day its a hit to the head. A hit to the head is a hit to the head. To me its pretty simple, said Duncan Keith. At the end of the day there seems to be a lot of confusion. Its just a never-ending debate going on about it.

Jonathan Toews said it was frustrating that there was no suspension.

At the end of the day were looking out for our teammate. It has to be at least a borderline head hit, he said. Considering what Torres has been up to lately, obviously theres no coincidence that something like that would happen. So its frustrating the league didnt take action in our favor.

The Blackhawks have bigger concerns on their plate at the moment. Theyre down 3-0 to the Canucks. It would be tempting for them to look for payback in Game 4 but it also wouldnt be smart.

That cant be our focus right now, Seabrook said. Our focus is to win and take it back to Vancouver and try to win the series. Thats the best way we can get back at them.

Quenneville said hes optimistic that Dave Bolland, whos been out with a concussion since March, could play in Game 4. The same is true for Bryan Bickell, who missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury. Tomas Kopecky is out for Game 4.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

Before the clock struck noon on a day Chicago was hosting its first ever NHL Draft, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman sent shockwaves throughout the city and hockey world by completing a pair of blockbuster trades within an hour of each other.

The first was dealing three-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona, and the second involving Artemi Panarin and Brandon Saad in a swap of talented wingers with Columbus.

This comes two days after the Blackhawks announced Marian Hossa will miss the 2017-18 campaign with a progressive skin disorder. That's three core players gone in the blink of an eye.

Who's ready for a new era in Chicago?

Rather than maximizing a championship window that was viewed as closing quickly, Bowman has elected to take a long-term approach and it might not be the worst idea.

There's no doubt the loss of Hjalmarsson, who remains one of the most underrated blue liners in the league, and Panarin, who finished in the top-10 in scoring among forwards in both of his first two NHL seasons, will sting.

But there's a good chance the Blackhawks wouldn't have been able to reward them with the pay raises they deserve after their contracts expire following the 2018-19 season, and that certainly played a huge role in the decision to head in a new direction.

In reacquiring Saad, the Blackhawks finally give Jonathan Toews that reliable left-winger they've desperately lacked since Saad was shipped out of town in 2015, providing balance throughout the top-six. Saad is also locked up for the next four years at a $6 million cap hit that will look better as time goes by.

For the last two years, the Blackhawks were known as a one-line scoring team thanks to the chemistry developed between Patrick Kane and Panarin.

The second-half emergence of Nick Schmaltz and familiarity Kane has developed with center Artem Anisimov has allowed Panarin to become expendable in their quest to solve their top-line woes. And that's not a bad consolation line, especially when you consider top prospect Alex DeBrincat could also be in the cards as early as this season.

On the back end, the Blackhawks receive a 24-year-old defenseman in Connor Murphy, who's also signed for the next four years at a $3.85 million cap hit, and carries a right-handed shot, something they've needed more of in the organization. While there will certainly be growing pains under Joel Quenneville, Murphy's ceiling is fairly high and gives the Blackhawks some speed coming out of their own zone.

In making both of these deals, the Blackhawks got younger in their attempt to keep up with a league that relies more on speed, addressing a few areas that Nashville exposed during their first-round sweep of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

And while they may have sacrificed two key players in the short-term, the Blackhawks executed a plan that should keep the perceived championship window open longer than expected.

Saad Day: Blackhawks deal Artemi Panarin for familiar face

Saad Day: Blackhawks deal Artemi Panarin for familiar face

When the Blackhawks found Artemi Panarin, they found a talent who was NHL ready from the start, who found instant chemistry with Patrick Kane and earned a Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. It was also a tremendous panacea for a team that couldn’t pull off a deal to keep Brandon Saad, who was the power forward that fit in beautifully in the Blackhawks’ top six.

On Friday, the Blackhawks brought Saad back and dealt Panarin to do it.   

Saad returns to the Blackhawks, who also acquire goaltender Anton Forsberg, in exchange for Panarin and Tyler Motte. The Blackhawks also get the Blue Jackets’ fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft and the Columbus gets Chicago’s sixth-round pick from this weekend’s draft. Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the deal. The Blackhawks inherit Saad’s deal, which has four years remaining at a $6 million cap hit. Panarin was about to enter his current deal, which is two years with a $6 million cap hit. This is key for the immediate future; when Panarin’s latest deal is up, if he keeps up at his current pace, he’ll likely sign for a lot more.

[MORE: Blackhawks deal Hjalmarsson to Arizona]

The Blackhawks have missed Saad terribly since his departure. The team has struggled to find consistent line mates with Jonathan Toews, especially at that left-wing position. They did fairly well with Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik flanking Toews this season but it wasn’t as strong as the Saad-Toews combination. So it looks like the Blackhawks’ top line will be solidified again.

Now, what about the second line? As good as Toews and Saad’s chemistry was, Panarin’s and Kane’s was dynamite. The two had their respective skill, which they flashed often, and their ability to read each other was evident from the start. The Blackhawks’ second line was as consistent and steady the past two seasons as the top line was during Saad’s time here.

So, there are changes. The Blackhawks will absolutely miss what Panarin brings. But as far as bringing back a former Blackhawks player who could help in the present, getting the 24-year-old Saad back will be very beneficial.