Sharks critical of NHL for suspension of Torres

May 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., May 17 (UPI) -- San Jose General Manager Doug Wilson Friday criticized the NHL for its suspension of Raffi Torres for the rest of the team's playoff series with Los Angeles.

Torres was suspended for a hit to the head of Jarret Stoll during the opening game of the series on Tuesday. Los Angeles won that contest 2-0 and rallied for a 4-3 decision in Game 2 on Thursday.

The Sharks will host the next two games of the series on Saturday and Tuesday.

Torres was also suspended during last year's playoffs for a violent hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa.

"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 said.

"Upon review of the incident, it is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit. As noted by the NHL, Raffi's initial point of contact was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on an opponent who was playing the puck. He did not leave his feet or elevate. He kept his shoulder tucked and elbow down at his side, and he was gliding -- not skating or charging.

"As evidenced in the video, just prior to Torres making contact with the opposing player, that player altered his posture to play a bouncing puck with his hand, placing himself in a vulnerable position.

"Comparing the facts of this incident against the actual wording of the rule, 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."

Wilson said, however, Torres will not appeal the suspension.

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