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.

Blackhawks agree to terms with Nathan Noel on entry-level contract

Blackhawks agree to terms with Nathan Noel on entry-level contract

The Blackhawks strengthened their organizational depth Thursday, announcing the signing of forward Nathan Noel to a three-year entry-level contract that kicks in next season and runs through the 2019-20 campaign. 

Noel, a fourth-round draft pick (No. 113 overall) in 2016, tied a career high with 24 goals — including six game winners — and added 26 assists for 50 points in 52 games during his fourth regular season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was sidelined for a little more than a month in December and January due to an upper-body injury.

The 19-year-old center has raised his game in the postseason, racking up eight goals and 18 assists in 33 games from 2015-17, including six assists in 12 contests so far during the 2017 QMJHL playoffs. Across four years at Saint John, he amassed 208 points (85 goals, 123 assists) in 242 career regular-season games.

Noel is teammates with forward Matthew Highmore, who leads the Sea Dogs in scoring and was signed by the Blackhawks in March to a three-year deal as an undrafted free agent.

Noel is an undersized forward at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but he's a fast skater with offensive upside. He'll likely start the 2017-18 season in the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs, who desperately needed scoring last year. 

Blackhawks' Nick Schmaltz added to USA's roster for 2017 IIHF World Championship

Blackhawks' Nick Schmaltz added to USA's roster for 2017 IIHF World Championship

Nick Schmaltz will be joining Blackhawks teammate Trevor van Riemsdyk on Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, the club announced Thursday.

It will be his first career appearance on the U.S. men's national team and third time representing his country in world-championship play, most recently winning a bronze medal at the 2016 World Juniors. He scored two goals and added six assists in seven games during that tournament.

Schmaltz just completed his first professional season with the Blackhawks, where he tallied six goals and 22 assists in 61 games. 

After the year ended, he spoke about the possibility of playing for USA in this tournament and what it would mean to him.

"I think it's a great tournament," Schmaltz said. "You get to play with a lot of great players. Look like a lot of great players are going to the tournament, so it's definitely a big stage. It would be a fun tournament."

The roster now includes 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders. Among the other NHLers going for the Americans: Danny DeKeyser, Noah Hanifin, Jimmy Howard, Dylan Larkin, Anders Lee, Charlie McAvoy, Connor Murphy, Brock Nelson and Jacob Trouba.

Blackhawks forwards Marcus Kruger (Sweden) and Artemi Panarin (Russia) will also compete in the tournament, which begins May 5 and runs until May 21 in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France.