San Jose, CA – On Friday, San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson revealed his thoughts about the league-mandated suspension to veteran forward Raffi Torres.
Torres was banned for the remainder of the Sharks' second-round series against Los Angeles for an illegal hit to the head of forward Jarret Stoll during the second period of the Kings' 2-0 Game 1 win on Tuesday.
"The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL in its efforts to remove illegal and dangerous hits from the game but we strongly disagree with the NHL's decision to suspend Raffi Torres," Wilson said in a statement.
"Upon review of the incident, it is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit. As noted by the NHL, Raffi's initial point of contact was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on an opponent who was playing the puck. He did not leave his feet or elevate, he kept his shoulder tucked and elbow down at his side, and he was gliding -- not skating or charging.
"As evidenced in the video, just prior to Torres making contact with the opposing player, that player altered his posture to play a bouncing puck with his hand, placing himself in a vulnerable position.
"Comparing the facts of this incident against the actual wording of Rule 48.1, it appears that the NHL has not only made an inappropriate application of this rule but is trying to make an example out of a player who is being judged on past events, one who has changed his game dramatically this season and taken only six minor penalties in 39 games."
The 31-year-old Canadian, who was assessed a minor penalty for charging on the play, is no stranger to lengthy league-sanctioned discipline. He received a 25-game ban, which was later reduced to 21, during last year's Western Conference quarterfinals for a devastating open-ice, hit to the head on Chicago's Marian Hossa which left him unable to return to action.
Wilson added that Torres will not appeal the suspension.
The Sharks trail the best-of-seven set 2-0 with Game 3 at HP Pavilion on Saturday night.