SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have already played this season, but this is the first time that Raffi Torres and Marian Hossa have shared the ice since Torres ended their seasons with an illegal hit to Hossa's head in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series last spring.
Hossa spent months recovering from the hit, while Torres was suspended for 25 games -- later reduced to 21 -- for the transgression. This is Torres' third game back after the suspension and he has vowed to change his reckless ways on the ice after being suspended or fined six times in his career.
"We have to protect the top players in the League, and if it's going to take me kind of thinking out there instead of running around with my head cut off, then that's what it’s going to take," said Torres, who called Hossa to apologize for the hit. "At the end of the day, I need to keep playing. This is what I do, and if I want to keep playing I'm going to have to change my way."
But first, there might be some unfinished business with the Blackhawks. Hossa said he considers the matter closed, but his teammates were very vocal about their feelings toward Torres, and a brief fight with Brandon Bollig immediately after the hit was unsatisfying.
The Coyotes will be without defenseman David Schelmko, who will be out for weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in Monday's 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Steve Sullivan – Antoine Vermette – Shane Doan
Mikkel Boedker – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Lauri Korpikoski – Boyd Gordon – David Moss
Raffi Torres – Kyle Chipchura – Nick Johnson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Zbynek Michalek
Keith Yandle – Derek Morris
Chris Summers – Michael Stone
Injuries – Rostislav Klesla, Matthew Lombardi
Scratches – Paul Bissonnette