The Phoenix Coyotes are pressing on in the NHL Playoffs without Raffi Torres, but if he has it his way and the Coyotes keep winning, he could be back before their playoff run ends. Torres believes that his 25-game suspension for a hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks' winger Marian Hossa was excessive, and has asked the NHLPA to appeal his suspension.
Under the current CBA, commissioner Gary Bettman is basically in control of whether or not Torres is worthy of listening to, as well as how much time and attention his case deserves. The players aren't really thrilled with this, and they might bring it up in CBA negotiations this summer.
All appeals are heard by Commissioner Bettman. He can decide to a) have in-person hearing b) phone hearing or c) none at all— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 3, 2012
Torres was deemed to have broken three separate NHL rules on his hit to Hossa, but perhaps more importantly, was called a repeat offender when the suspension was handed down. Even if he has a legitimate case about the suspension for his hit on Hossa being excessive, his status as a repeat violator of NHL rules might make it less likely that Bettman is willing to listen to his appeal.