Torres has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing on Friday, and all of the chatter in the NHL culture is how many games he'll be suspended. The least ambitious pundits say 5; the most ambitious say he should be out for the rest of the playoffs. After the Weber, Carkner, and Shaw decisions, there's a palpable lack of confidence in Shanahan to make the right decision.
And I would argue that Shanahan's already made the wrong one.
Yesterday's suspension of Andrew Shaw was sold, at least in part, as "sending a message", about doing something that gets everyone's attention and makes them all understand in no uncertain terms that even questionable conduct will not be tolerated. Indeed, Shanahan has said before that his job is to mold behavior going forward, and if his office is about player safety, he's absolutely right. Now, we talked yesterday about how he's muddling his own message, but at pretty much the first opportunity after Shaw's suspension, Torres pulled this shit. The message has not been received.
I understand the idea that Torres is an imperfect example; he's got no history as a hockey player, it's all just as a shitheel. Maybe he's unreachable, and the Shaw suspension was really supposed to tell rookies what was expected of them. But I'd argue that you can tell the Ryan Nugent-Hopkinses of the league to play the right well all you want; if the Torreses of the league are giving them concussions, you're still not cleaning up the game. In other words, any "message"- hell, any disciplinary system- that doesn't get through to guys Torres' is just not going to get the job done. And clearly, right now, no one's gotten through to them.