Raffi Torres won't appeal ban
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Raffi Torres, who was suspended for the rest of San Jose's second-round playoff series against Los Angeles, has decided not to appeal, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced Friday in a detailed statement.
Wilson disagreed, however, with the NHL's suspension.
"The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL in its efforts to remove illegal and dangerous hits from the game but we strongly disagree with the NHL's decision to suspend Raffi Torres," Wilson wrote. "Upon review of the incident, it is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit."
The NHL suspended Torres on Thursday for the remainder of the Sharks-Kings second-round playoff series for an illegal check on Kings center Jarret Stoll in Game 1.
Torres was suspended 25 games last spring, a ban later reduced to 21 games, for a high hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa while playing for the Coyotes. But Torres had not been in hot water since returning to play this season and was lauded -- both in Phoenix before being traded and then in San Jose after joining the Sharks -- for being a reformed player.
The NHL cited his history in suspending him Thursday. Wilson and Torres flew to New York to state their case in the league hearing but didn't get the result they had hoped.
Wilson believes the league inappropriately interpreted the rule.
"Comparing the facts of this incident against the actual wording of Rule 48.1, it appears that the NHL has not only made an inappropriate application of this rule but is trying to make an example out of a player who is being judged on past events, one who has changed his game dramatically this season and taken only six minor penalties in 39 games," he said in the statement. "We are proud of the work Raffi has put in to successfully adjust his game. Although it's unfortunate that Jarret was injured on the play, we feel this decision is grossly unfair to Raffi, his teammates and our fans.
"However, Raffi does not want to be a distraction to his teammates and has decided not to appeal this suspension and we respect that decision."
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