Raffi Torres is the NHL’s newest poster child for gutless behaviour.
Torres’ blind-side blow to the head of Edmonton Oilers’ rookie, Jordan Eberle, in the third period of tonight’s 2-0 victory by Edmonton over Vancouver in the Alberta capital, will undoubtedly draw the ire of NHL disciplinarian, Colin Campbell.
In pursuit of the puck with his head lowered, Eberle was crushed by a Torres elbow to the head, and propelled through the air. Fortunately, the former Canadian National Junior Team hero scooped himself off the ice, and is seemingly no worse for wear. Eberle will undoubtedly fall under the training staff’s scrutiny Wednesday morning, to ensure a big piece of their future hasn’t suffered a concussion.
Torres, for his stupidity, will surely feel the scrutiny of a league, attempting to resurrect its embattled reputation. Eberle, without question, was in a vulnerable position on the ice. The NHL’s rule book, however, is clear, placing the responsibility for these on-ice train wrecks on the shoulders of the perpetrator.
Torres, who earned five minutes for the elbow, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct, has a history of playing on “the edge”, as he likes to rationalize this sort of nonsensical play. And make no mistake, it is this sort of dubious history by a player, which the NHL cannot turn a blind eye to.
Torres’ hit was gutless, and the former Oiler should sit for the first round of the playoffs! Given the league’s unpredictable disciplinary habits, however, all bets are off.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up, sticks down. z
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.