Suspended Torres apologizes to Silfverberg, team in statement
San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres is looking to make amends after receiving a 41-game suspension from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a hit to the head of Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg in a preseason game.
Torres issued a statement through the team Thursday to express regret for his actions.
"I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play," Torres said in the statement. "I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization."
Torres confirmed he will not contest the suspension, which is the second-longest non-lifetime ban in league history for an on-ice infraction. This is the fifth time Torres has been suspended by the league for an illegal hit, and the 41-game suspension is nearly double the length of his previous longest suspension, when he was banned for 21 games for a high hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa in the 2012 playoffs.
Torres was expected to attempt to make a comeback this season following two years of recovery from reconstructive knee surgery. Missing the first half of the season will be a serious blow to those plans.
"I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen," Torres said in the statement. "I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again."
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson also released a statement about the suspension Thursday, and it appears the Sharks are on the same page as the NHL regarding Torres’s behavior on the ice.
"While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game," Wilson said in Thursday’s statement. "There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play."
Although Silfverberg was shaken up on the play and missed the remainder of the game, he was cleared earlier this week to begin practicing with the team again.
(h/t San Jose Sharks)