Raffi Torres is a notorious hitter in the National Hockey League, and is feared when out on the ice. He is also a player that crosses the line frequently and gets into deep trouble with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. His most recent incident landed him a lengthy suspension.
On October 3rd, the Sharks were playing against the Ducks in Anaheim, just a few minutes past the half way mark in the first period Torres delivered a hard check to Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg. The hit was late and if it were a legal hit, a check that didn’t make the head the main point of contact, it would have just been interference. Since Silfverbergs head was the main point of contact, Raffi Torres was tossed from the game. Thankfully, Silfverbergs brains weren’t scramble and he was uninjured because the hit looked pretty bad. (video)
The NHL Department of Player Safety handed down a 41 game suspension, which I was sure that Torres was going to try and appeal but he didn’t to my surprise. He has accepted the punishment and will sit for half a season, fortunatly the Sharks are used to not having him in the lineup. Raffi Torres hasn’t been back on the ice very long, he was injured all of last season with a knee injury that occurred during last years preseason. This means the Sharks currently have a player on a three year six million dollar contract and only are going to get at the most, a year and half out of it. Of course the Sharks organization must have known the risks when signing such a player with a head hunting reputation.
It wan’t that long ago Raffi Torres played for the Arizona Coyotes where he delivered an illegal hit to the head to Chicago’s forward Marian Hossa . This was during the 2011-12 season and the Coyotes were making a push for the cup. Torres was suspended the rest of the playoffs and some of the next season (a total of 21 games). This was not the first time either, Torres has a long history of targeting opponents heads. His victims are Jordan Eberle, Brent Seabrook (twice), Jan Hejda, Nate Prosser and Jerret Stoll. All hits to the head and he received suspensions for all of those hits with the exception of Seabrook. Like seriously, how is he even still in the league?
What team would want this player to be on their roster? How can the league let Torres continue to play when he has a long history of targeting players heads? The answer is no team will want him on their roster and the league does not want him on the ice. Raffi Torres is a 33 year old forward that is a liability and will have not played in one and half seasons when his suspension is over. The league has also been trying to crack down on concussions, Torres seems to be pretty good at causing them. He is a free agent at the end of the season, I don’t see the Sharks wasting anymore money on a reckless ageing winger that is prone to injury and I don’t see other teams wanting to either. I think Raffi Torres is done as an NHL hockey player or I am just hoping. This type of bush league play shouldn’t be allowed to continue.
The kicker to this, the game was a preseason game that didn’t even matter. Well, at least he can be in the record books because the 41 game suspension is the longest suspension ever given in NHL history. The previous record holder was…Raffi Torres with the 21 game suspension.