Minnesota Wild right wing Dany Heatley (15) checks Phoenix Coyotes left wing Raffi Torres (37) off the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. The Coyotes won 4-2. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended for two games for charging Minnesota Wild defenceman Nate Prosser, the NHL announced Monday.
Torres, also suspended last season, was deemed a repeat offender. He will lose US$42,682.93 in salary.
The incident occurred during the first period of the Coyotes' 4-2 win in Minnesota on Saturday. As Prosser passes the puck out of the Wild zone, Torres leaves his feet during his check and makes contact with Prosser's head. No penalty was called on the play, and Prosser remained in the game.
"Torres' skates leave the ice before contact is made, and are well off the ice at the moment of impact," league discliplinarian Brendan Shannahan said. "This is a clear violation of the charging rule that prohibits players from leaving their feet to deliver a hit."
Shannahan said it was the third game in a row that Torres had been brought to the NHL's attention for contact to the head. Hours before playing against the Wild, Torres was fined $2,500 for a previous hit on Colorado's Jan Hejda.
Torres will miss Tuesday's game at St. Louis and Thursday's game at Los Angeles. He will be eligible to return Saturday as Phoenix hosts the New York Islanders.