San Jose Sharks left winger Raffi Torres was handed down a behemoth 41-game suspension Monday afternoon for his illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks right winger Jakob Silfverberg. Thursday, Torres issued a statement addressing his latest suspension.
In the statement, Torres, 33, was accepting of his most recent suspension and issued an apology to Silfverberg, the Sharks organization and his teammates.
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety,” Torres said in the statement. “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.”
Shortly after Torres’ statement was issued, Sharks GM Doug Wilson followed suit, stating that the club fully supported the NHL’s decision to ban Torres for 41 games. It was the sixth time since 2011 that Torres has been either fined or suspended by the league, which includes eight- and 25-game bans.
“While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game,” Wilson said. “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.”
Silfverberg, 24, was held out of practice over the weekend following the hit, but has since rejoined the Ducks in team skates. He practiced Wednesday and is expected to be in the Anaheim lineup when the Ducks open their season Saturday.