San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres has been suspended for the first 41 games of the 2015-2016 NHL season for an illegal check to the head of the Anaheim Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg. It’s the third-longest suspension in league history.
It’s the fifth time Torres has been suspended since 2011. In 2012, he was suspended for 25 games for a hit on Marian Hossa in the playoffs, and the suspension was reduced to 21 games.
Because of Torres’ history with dirty hits, much of the reaction has been in favor of the NHL’s decision.
41 games seems stiff, but when you consider its Raffi Torres and his consistent history, it's easier to wrap your head around.
— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_FOX) October 5, 2015
41 Games for Raffi Torres is light in the grand scheme of things. I still think he should have gotten the chair for what he did to Hossa
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) October 5, 2015
41-game suspension for Raffi Torres. Early message to start the season. No issues at all with this one.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) October 5, 2015
The NHLPA is expected to appeal the decision. Torres was ejected from the preseason game on Saturday with 7:15 remaining in the first period. Silfverberg left the games and didn’t return. He missed practice on Monday for precautionary reasons.
Torres committed multiple penalties with the hit. He illegally used Silfverberg’s head as the main point of contact. The NHL Department of Player Safety ruled that the hit was late and would have been considered interference.
The Sharks open the season on Wednesday with a visit to the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks don’t open the season until Saturday when they visit San Jose.