Head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has levied a number of suspensions in the first round of what has become a contentious, violent 2012 NHL Playoffs, but his handling of Phoenix Coyotes winger Rafi Torres' hit on the Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa will be his highest profile decision of the postseason yet. With fervor over the hit threatening to dominate every storyline regarding the series, Shanahan and the NHL will reportedly hold a disciplinary hearing "ASAP" in order to decide the length of Torres' suspension, if one is handed out.
In the first period of Phoenix's 3-2 victory on Tuesday night, Torres leveled Hossa in a hit that has widely been deemed as illegal, thanks to Torres leaving his feet to deliver the blow. Hossa left the ice on a stretcher, and though Torres was not penalized during the game, discussion during and after the game centered on how many games Torres will be docked.
Shanahan has already handed out eight total suspensions this postseason, including a banning of Chicago's Andrew Shaw for three games for delivering a shoulder to the head of Phoenix goalie Mike Smith in Game 2. The longest suspension was for four games and it was given to Arron Asham of the Pittsburgh Penguins, though Torres may equal or surpass that.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this series, visit Blackhawks blog Second City Hockey and Coyotes blog Five For Howling. For more NHL Playoffs coverage, head over to SB Nation's NHL news hub.