Raffi Torres sat out all of last season due to an ACL injury and now will sit for 41 more games after the NHL handed the San Jose Sharks forward a heavy suspension for his hit on Jakob Silfverberg Saturday night.
Take it away, Patrick Burke:
It's not often in a suspension video that listing a player's "Greatest Hits" takes as long as 25 seconds to read. That and quoting the collective bargaining agreement. But this is a special case.
Remember all those times in the past when a questionable hit was met with the “Throw the book at him!” response? This is the NHL and the Department of Player Safety getting fed up enough to punt a guy for half a season after four suspensions, three fines and two warnings failed to get the message across.
The 41-game ban will cause Torres to forfeit $404,860.29 of salary. And because it’s a 41-game suspension, Torres does have the right to appeal to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. That move worked once before for him when he appealed a 25-gamer for a hit on Marian Hossa in the 2012 playoffs down to 21 games.
That was now two suspensions ago.
Raffi Torres has played 703 NHL regular season and playoff games. If you include the 41-games he’s set to miss now, he’ll have been suspended for 74 games in his career.
The hit itself was a suspendable act, whether it was Raffi Torres or someone else. But the fact that this is a hammer being struck down on a player who couldn't change his ways through supplemental discipline and repeated warnings will hopefully go a long way to changing the behavior of others who play their game on the edge.
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