The NHL seems to have had enough of Raffi Torres’ on-ice antics, handing him a 41 game suspension for his illegal hit during Saturday night’s game.
The suspension is a result of an illegal hit to the head on Anaheim Duck’s forward Jakob Silfverberg during a pre-season game on Saturday. The hit injured Silfverberg removing him from the game, and resulted in a match penalty for Torres. Following the game, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau reported that Silfverberg is fine and was removed from the game as a precaution.
After reviewing the hit, the NHL deemed that even if Torres had not used excessive force and had not targeted the head, it would still have resulted in an interference call. Silfverberg was no longer in a position where he could be legally checked when the hit took place.
This latest is suspension is Torres’ fifth in his NHL career. He has also received two warnings and three fines as a result of illegal hits, bringing his total of disciplinary-worthy hits up to ten in just 703 regular season games. Though the NHL does not consider him to be a repeat offender, it is clear that Torres has a history of illegal hits.
The Sharks forward has only play in 15 games since his last suspension, 6 games for an illegal hit to the head on Jarrett Stoll during the 2013 playoffs. In 2012, he was handed a 25 game suspension for an illegal hit on Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during the post-season. Earlier that year he received two games for a charge on Minnesota Wild defender Nate Prosser. In 2011, Torres got four games for an illegal hit to the head on Oilers new-comer Jordan Eberle.
Even the players seem to have had enough with Torres. “Same player every year,” Ducks centre and former teammate Ryan Kesler told reporters, “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
It’s clear that the NHL has had enough of Torres and his reoccurring problem with illegal hits. In addition to the suspension, which will last half of the 2015-2016 season, Torres also received a fine of $440,860.29. The entirety of the money will go directly to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
This is the third longest suspension that the NHL has ever issued, following Billy Coutu’s life-long ban in 1927 for attacking a referee and Marty McSorley’s year-long suspension as a result of hitting Vancouver’s Donald Brashear in the head with his stick.