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Ex-Sabre Torres likely to join long list of NHL playoff suspensions

The NHL's media Website lists league-issued news releases dealing with everything from television ratings to conference call transcripts to statistical breakdowns. It's overcrowded these days with one topic: supplemental discipline.

Eight of the first nine news releases available for viewing today are about suspensions or fines. There's been plenty of foul play in the playoffs, and Brendan Shanahan has been cranking out more videos than MTV.

The NHL's discipline czar has suspended eight players for a total of 16 games. Pittsburgh's Arron Asham sustained the biggest penalty, earning a four-game sitdown for cross-checking and attempting to injure Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn. Chicago's Andrew Shaw got three games for hitting Phoenix's Mike Smith when the goaltender went behind the net to play the puck.

(The stiff penalty for Shaw was the result of general managers telling Shanahan that goalies need to be protected after he declined to discipline Boston's Milan Lucic for running over the Sabres' Ryan Miller.)

The sentences of Asham and Shaw may look light following an incident Tuesday night. Former Sabres forward Raffi Torres, who plays for Phoenix, left his feet to blast Chicago's Marian Hossa. The late hit led to Hossa being carted off on a stretcher and hospitalized.

The referees didn't see the hit, so there was no penalty on the play. Shanahan, however, has no doubt seen the illegal check delivered by a repeat offender. Discipline is coming.

Mark Spector, executive vice president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and senior columnist, wrote a scathing piece that called Torres the "biggest punk in the game of hockey" and predicted an exceptionally harsh penalty.

The biggest I can think of for Torres? The NHL should make him sit until it finds an owner for his team. The way the league is moving on the Phoenix situation, Torres may never play again.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |