Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres had plenty of time to think about how to alter his style of play while serving a 21-game suspension for an illegal hit on the Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa last spring during the playoffs.
Having been fined or suspended six times for reckless play, Torres realizes he isn't long for the NHL if he can't change his ways.
“We have to protect the top players in the league and if it’s going to take me thinking a little bit out there instead of running around with my head cut off, then that’s what it’s going to take,” Torres, 31, said Wednesday following the Coyotes' practice in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I need to keep playing. This is what I want to do. And if I want to keep playing in this league, I’m going to have change the way (I play). I feel I’ve done some of the right things over the summer and the first two games to do that.”
Torres has played in two uneventful games this season since the suspension ended and will face Hossa and the Hawks in his third game Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Whether Torres will have to take on a vengeful Hawks player or two remains to be seen. The subplot in the second meeting between the Western Conference rivals this season will be how Hossa and the Hawks retaliate against Torres—if at all.
“Obviously, it’s a thing you don’t forget,” Hossa said. “But I’m not that type of player who will drop the gloves and fight. I’ll try to play my best and just play my regular game.”
Torres said he doesn't know what to expect.
“Whatever happens out there, happens out there,” Torres said.“It’s hockey--both teams are out to get the two points. We’ll see how it pans out.”
Coyotes' Torres vows to change ways
Chicago Tribune | Feb 7