Raffi Torres announced in a statement today he will not appeal his 41 game suspension stemming from a hit on the Ducks' Jakob Silfverberg in the Sharks' final preseason game, confirming yesterday's NHLPA announcement. The suspension is the fifth of Torres' career, and will stand as the longest in NHL history. Torres' statement reads:
"I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. 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. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. 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. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization."
Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson also released a statement, which reads:
"The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. 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."
The statements are in pretty stark contrast to the displeasure Wilson expressed when Torres was previously suspended for a hit on Jarrett Stoll in the 2013 playoffs. It's nice to see the Sharks and Torres recognize that the hit was unacceptable, and now it's on Torres to show he's worth another chance.
Current and former Sharks have expressed their support for Torres in the wake of his suspension. On Monday, Jason Demers tweeted the hashtag "#FreeTorres," while Brent Burns threw some shade at the officials in last night's game after Dustin Brown's hit on Logan Couture.