The Department of Player Safety has dropped the hammer on Raffi Torres, suspending him for 41 games for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Initial reports after the hit from coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg was fine and was being held out of the rest of the game for precautionary reasons. (And because preseason hockey is meaningless.)
But reports came out today that Silfverberg is not practicing with the team. No further information on his health was shared by the team at this point.
A potential injury to Silfverberg didn’t help Torres’s case.
As we outlined Sunday, Torres has a long history of suspensions for head shots, including a 25-game suspension for a head shot on Marian Hossa (that was later reduced to 21 games), as well as suspension for head shots on Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Jordan Eberle and a fine for a head shot on Jan Hejda.
That history is likely to be a big part of why this suspension is so massive. The 41-game ban will cost Torres $440,860.29 in salary, according to Chris Johnston.
Torres retains the right to appeal his suspension, but while he’s not technically considered a repeat offender because there have been no incidents in the last 18 months, he’s also been injured almost that entire time, playing only 12 regular season and playoff games combined since his last suspension.
Watch the video explanation from the Department of Player Safety below.
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, this is the league’s third longest suspension ever, “behind McSorley’s year-long ban in 2000 and Boston’s Billy Coutu lifetime from 1927.”
Here's Torres' previous suspensions… pic.twitter.com/NOSmxSwmLB
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) October 5, 2015
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