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(CBS) Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, who is currently appealing a 25-game suspension, reached out to Marian Hossa about a week after he delivered the illegal hit that knocked the Blackhawks’ winger out for the rest of the series.
“Around five days or a week after the hit, he contacted me,” Hossa told reporters in a conference call Thursday. “It was nice that he contacted me. But I told him that I was upset. I said, ‘I know we were playing that way, but the thing that upset me was the jump.’ If he didn’t jump, maybe I would have still been hit hard, but it wouldn’t have hit my head and he wouldn’t have 25 games. The phone conversation was pretty quick, and that was it.”
Hossa is still slowly recovering from a major concussion and it’s apparent that he would not have been available for the rest of the playoffs had the Blackhawks advanced.
“The good thing is I’m slowly getting better,” Hossa said. “It’s been a few weeks now and I’m not feeling like myself, but I feel better. I’m slowly going for walks and that’s a good thing. Training camp is still far away and we’ll see what’s going to happen. I’ve been in contact with the organization, Dr. Terry, the trainers. I’m telling them every other day how it’s going. So far, it’s small steps, but I believe I’ll be ready.”
Hossa said he doesn’t remember much from the hit.
“I saw the replay a few days later and that’s how I remember,” he said. “I remember a few seconds of seeing (team physician Dr. Michael Terry) on the ice, and I don’t remember being in the dressing room. I remember a little bit in the ambulance and I woke up in the hospital. I only remember a few seconds.”
It was reported Thursday that Torres is now appealing the 25-game suspension he received. Meanwhile, Hossa is left wondering why there was no penalty called on the play.
“I was surprised there was no penalty. Obviously, it was a hard hit and you can see that from a lot of angles,” Hossa said. “I don’t mind getting hit, but the one thing that upset me was the jump and how he hit my head. Otherwise, everything would have been fine. He got 25 games and I believe he wouldn’t get that if he didn’t have a history. He didn’t get 25 games because of my hit.”
It’s hard to argue with the suspension, however, especially considering how the hit left Hossa.
“Let’s put it this way: it’s not fun, especially the first few days,” the Blackhawks winger said. “I spent one week basically sitting at home in a dark room. I can walk around now and things bother me less than before, so that’s a good sign. Getting better is definitely helping. But they’re all small steps.”