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Coyotes’ Torres Banned Indefinitely for Hit on Chicago’s Hossa

Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres was suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League for a hit on Marian Hossa that left the Chicago Blackhawks’ forward on a stretcher.

Torres, 30, will meet with league officials on April 20 in New York to discuss the play and his punishment, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced today in a statement on its website. The meeting, originally scheduled for today, was pushed back at the request of Torres and the league’s Players’ Association.

The hit came midway through the first period of the Coyotes’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Blackhawks last night. Torres left his feet and delivered a shoulder check to Hossa’s head as the Blackhawks’ forward cut to the middle of the ice. Torres wasn’t assessed a penalty on the play.

“I felt like it was a hockey play, I was just trying to finish my hit out there,” Torres told reporters. “I hope he’s all right.”

A five-time All-Star, Hossa stayed on the ice for over three minutes before leaving on a stretcher and being taken to a hospital.

The 33-year-old Hossa, who has a team-high 77 points this season, suffered an “upper body blow” and is expected to make a full recovery, team physician Michael Terry said today in a statement on the Blackhawks’ website. Hossa is being monitored at home following his release from the hospital and there’s no timetable for his return, according to Terry.

The Coyotes lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. The teams play Game 4 tomorrow in Chicago.

Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook suffered a concussion during the 2011 playoffs following a hit from Torres, then a forward with the Vancouver Canucks. Torres wasn’t suspended for that hit.

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