One of the things I am unclear about in all this palaver is the presentation of Raffe Torres as a villain. Comments like "with his reputation" or "we all know his history" or referring to him as "a serial headhunter." I have been unable to find any suspensions or warnings in his past for violent behavior but perhaps I just don't know where to look. Does Torres have a history of suspension or discipline for this sort of thing? Where do I look for a more in-depth history of his disciplinary record. Help me out here, please.
For the record, I am squarely in the "take head shots out of the game" camp however I didn't have a problem with Torres' hits on either Eberle or Seabrook. As the rules stand now and with the state of the game as it is, these type of hits are regrettable but part of the game. For me, there was far too much grey area in both hits to warrant supplementary discipline and yes, accidents do happen on the ice. Torres was just doing what he has been taught from minor hockey to do and what he is encouraged by the ethos of the professional game to do to protect his job.
The problem is with the NHL. They make the rules unclear and they enforce them arbitrarily. Some hits are suspendable for some guys and teams, others not. Some hits are good here but not there. At least, so it seems to me. It is time for all parties concerned, the NHL, the players, the owners and the officials to sit down and thrash out a standard that everyone understands and accepts. The basis of the standard should be the safety and well-being of the players. Perhaps everyone being on the same page would stop some of the controversy surrounding every heavy hit that takes place. It would hopefully also discourage the players from turning into actors and rolling about on the floor after every contact in attempts to draw penalties. Whilst some would decry the dilution of the sport, at least the players would be able to play without the uncertainty that now clouds the issue and without fear for their post-hockey health.. And that can only be a good thing.