In a statement released by the Sharks on Thursday. Raffi Torres, who was suspended for 41 games earlier this week for a late hit to the head of Jakob Silfverberg, “sincerely apologize[d]” to the Anaheim forward and expressed hope that Silfverberg would soon be back on the ice with the Ducks.
Nice sentiments, but they’d be a lot easier to accept if they didn’t sound so much like something Torres had written three years ago.
“My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon,” Torres said in a statement that was released after he was suspended 25 games for a late hit that targeted the head of the Blackhawks star during the 2012 playoffs. “I sincerely regret injuring Marian.”
No doubt he did. Torres isn't a bad guy, but he seems to be lacking enough sense to understand that his reckless actions not only can injure other players, but could put an end to his very lucrative career. And because of that, it's a good thing—a very good thing—that he’ll miss the first half of the season as a result of the Silfverberg cheap shot.
And if he truly is sincere in his concern for the health of others, he’ll be a radically changed man when he returns to the ice. If not, the next suspension will likely be his last.
Here’s Torres’ statement in full:
“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 GM Doug Wilson released a statement of his own: “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.”