As far as reputations go they can be good or bad, earned or given, troublesome or beneficial.
When it comes to sporting figures all the above apply and in this case Raffi Torres has the bad, earned and troublesome bases covered.
The hit he laid on Jarret Stoll would have cost most normal hockey players a game due to the head contact and even that sentence is debatable as the contact didn’t start there but with the new NHL it’s where it ends.
Even Raffi the children’s entertainer would have been sent to the box and then dragged onto the carpet to see Brendan Shanahan in his cozy office lit by several monitors showing hits to the head, knees to other knees and checks to the back.
For Raffi the hockey player, the harsh sentence has been argued by supporters and supported by detractors but in the end it’s Raffi Torres who pays the price for past indiscretions.
We have no idea what the conversations have been involving Torres when he’s been taken away from the game to explain why he went brain dead and did what he did so many other times in his career.
There may have been some hand wringing and nervous gestures but at the same time lacking in sincerity and a heartfelt apology.
There may not have been any acceptance of responsibility on the part of Torres in the past and without an honest effort to change his ways this Shark is doomed to be patrolling the shallow waters looking for another chance at taking someone’s health for granted and reaching for his wallet to pay the price.
All the above is of course speculation and maybe Raffi just is in the wrong place at the wrong time but I doubt it.
It seems Torres can’t quite distinguish between a good hit and bad one so when it comes to border line stuff like the hit on Stoll, the reputation earned in the past plays a huge role in the present along with the future.
Raffi doesn’t need to play soft in order not to get in trouble anymore. That would be a disservice to his team but he does need to see where the line is drawn for him and be diligent not to cross it.