Raffi Torres: I 'have to change'

Updated: January 16, 2013, 1:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, benched for the first eight games of the season for a carried-over suspension, has vowed to approach the game with a different philosophy upon his return.

Torres, an 11-year veteran with six teams, says he will attempt to cut down on the physical element he has for so long based his play around, having mulled the consequences of his hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa during the teams' first-round playoff series.

Torres The game's changed a little bit the last few years. Obviously I've got to realize that, and the utmost importance these days is the safety of the other players.

-- Coyotes forward Raffi Torres

"I can't afford to go through something like that again," Torres said Tuesday, according to azcentral.com. "There are some things that I'm going to have to change if I want to keep playing in this league at a competitive level, so I look forward to it. I know I can bring more to the game than just physical play."

Torres was originally suspended for 25 games after the hit, but the ban was later reduced to 21 by the NHL after an appeal by the players' association. The Coyotes played 13 playoff games without a suspended Torres, losing in the Western Conference finals to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

"The game's changed a little bit the last few years," said Torres, who will lose more than $170,000 in salary because of the ban. "Obviously I've got to realize that, and the utmost importance these days is the safety of the other players. I don't want to go through something like that again."

Torres told the Phoenix-based website he figured out early in his career he would need to add depth to his skill set if he hoped to thrive in the NHL.

"I kind of realized fast my skill isn't going to be enough," he said.

But he said he must yet again reinvent himself after his sixth career incident resulting in a supplemental punishment.

"I think there are some things he can do to make him a better player but maybe make him a little less dangerous player," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said, according to azcentral.com. "He's a rugged guy. He plays hard, and that's how he's going to have to play. But there's some areas of the game we can show him where we can take some of the recklessness out of it."

Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun was used in this report.

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