New York, NY – The National Hockey League on Saturday issued a $100,000 fine to the San Jose Sharks organization for comments made by general manager Doug Wilson regarding the suspension levied to Raffi Torres earlier in the week.
The fine was issued for violation of league rules which prohibit statements to the media during the 48-hour period following a disciplinary decision. In addition to an automatic penalty of $25,000, the Sharks were fined an additional $75,000 under Article 6 of the League's Constitution due to the inappropriate nature of the comments.
League discipline czar Brendan Shanahan passed down the suspension on Thursday to Torres, who 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.
On Friday, Wilson revealed his thoughts about the suspension in a lengthy statement, whose sentiments included the following:
"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.
"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 Sharks trail the best-of-seven series 2-0 with game 3 in San Jose on Saturday night.