On Saturday, during a meaningless NHL pre-season game, San Jose sharks forward Raffi Torres made a decision that cost him $440,000 and half of the upcoming season. And still, he got off easy: His decision nearly cost Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg his head.
Torres is a notorious headhunter, which goes a long way toward explaining the exceedingly long suspension. This isn’t just about what happened Saturday: it’s about a player with a reputation living up to that reputation despite repeated suspensions. And it’s about a league trying like hell to change the most dangerous behaviors of its most volatile players.
As explained in the video above, the problem with this particular hit is that Torres was aiming squarely for Silfverberg’s head. And he connected. Delivered by most other players, it wouldn’t have resulted in such a long suspension though. Torres is much worse than most players, and this is fifth time he’s been suspended for going too far on the ice, with all but one of those coming for a hit to another player’s head. Previously, his longest suspension kept him out 21 games for vicious hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa.
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