San Jose forward Torres to miss half of season following historic suspension
San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres will miss at least half of the upcoming season. Torres was suspended Monday by the league for 41 games for an illegal hit to the head Jakob Silfverberg of the Anaheim Ducks in a preseason game on Oct. 3. Torres will have to forfeit $440,860.29 of his salary due to the suspension. The money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund instead.
Silfverberg was shaken up on the play but is otherwise fine. He missed the remainder of Saturday’s game solely for precautionary reasons.
Torres’s suspension is the second longest suspension in league history that is not a lifetime ban for an on-ice incident. Bruin Marty McSorley received the longest suspension without getting banned for life, as he was suspended for a year for bashing Vancouver’s Donald Brashear in the head with a stick. McSorley was found guilty of assault in a court of law for that hit.
Torres has been suspended for dirty hits to the head on four separate occasions prior to this latest infraction. His first suspension came from a hit to the head of Jordan Eberle in 2011. Torres was suspended twice in 2012, once for two games following a hit to the head of Minnesota’s Nate Prosser and once for 21 games after an illegal hit to the head of Chicago’s Marian Hossa, who had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance following the play. Torres was most recently suspended in 2013 for the remainder of the second round of the playoffs after a hit to the head of Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll in Game 1 of the series.
Torres has been warned, fined or suspended for illegal hits on nine occasions throughout his 11-year career. Although he is not technically considered a repeat offender by the league because he has not been suspended since 2013, Torres played in just 15 games since his last suspension and is clearly being treated as a repeat offender by the league in this case.
One of Torres’ former teammates, Ryan Kesler (who now plays for the Ducks), spoke out about the forward following Saturday’s game.
"Same player every year," Kesler told reporters after the game. "I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore."