Sharks F Torres apologizes for hit that led to suspension
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres says that ''I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again.''
Torres isn't appealing his 41-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg in a preseason game. In a statement released by the team Thursday, Torres apologized to Silfverberg and the Sharks.
''I'm extremely thankful that he wasn't seriously injured as a result of the play,'' he said.
It's the longest suspension in NHL history for a hit on another player. This marks the fifth and most significant suspension for Torres in his career.
''I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career,'' he said, ''and this is the last thing I wanted to happen.''
General manager Doug Wilson said in a separate statement released by the team that the Sharks support the NHL's discipline decision.
''While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game,'' he said. ''There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line.''
Torres' previous longest suspension had been for 21 games - initially 25 games - for a high hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in the first round of the playoffs in 2012 when he played for Arizona.
Torres was suspended for the final six games of the playoffs in 2013 with San Jose for a hit to the head against Los Angeles' Jarret Stoll. Torres was also suspended for two games in January 2012 and April 2011 for hits.