The Anaheim Ducks avoided an injury scare in their final preseason game Saturday night.
San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres struck Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg in the head and the NHL’s Player Safety Department has responded by suspending Torres for 41 games, half of the regular season.
Silfverberg was held out of the game for precautionary reasons and is expected to play in the Ducks season opener on Saturday.
If you are unfamiliar with Torres’ suspension history, here’s a quick read to get caught up.
Torres has become known as one of the NHL’s biggest knuckleheads. Constant violation of league rules have led to continuos warnings, fines and suspensions. The NHL has finally had enough and the 41 game suspension proves that.
I chose to not use the word ‘enforcer’ when describing Torres because that would be an absolute disgrace to the other labeled ‘enforcers’ around the league.
Since the 2010-2011 season, Torres has totaled 78 points.
Since the 2010-2011 season, Torres has totaled 74 games missed due to suspension.
Let that sink in, 78 points and 74 games missed due to suspension over the past five seasons (counting the latest 41 game suspension).
Constant disregard for the leagues rules. Constant disregard for punishment. Constant disregard to change his style of play.
The problem with Torres has gone beyond violating the rules of the game. It has stemmed to blatant disrespect for the league.
Torres was suspended for 21 games in 2012. How did he respond to that discipline? He was suspended again just a year later during the 2013 playoffs after another dangerous hit to the head of former Kings forward Jarret Stoll.
74 games missed due to suspension over the past five seasons.
Torres has gone from being a tough guy, to being a liability guy. From Jordan Eberle to Marian Hossa to now Jakob Silfverberg, Torres has delivered some of the scariest hits to the head that we have recently witnessed.
That’s the issue with Torres as well, it is always a dangerous hit to the head that leads to his suspension. When will it stop?
Last time I checked we are living in a world where we know what the long term effects of head injuries are. Modern technology is allowing us to develop ways to eliminate head injuries and the universal goal is to try and create a safer environment for players on the ice as well as off the ice after retirement. Yet, Raffi Torres’ actions have been somewhat tolerated.
The NHL Player Safety Department’s punishment of a 41 game suspension should gain minimal acceptance. If a 21 game suspension didn’t change anything, what signs point to a 41 game suspension being the answer?
This story is not over, there is another chapter waiting to be written.
What lies within the content of that chapter is solely up to Raffi Torres and the league, but Torres being allowed back into an NHL game as early as January 2016 is questionable.
This is now Torres 5th suspension of his career. I’ve heard of a three strikes policy and I can understand the allowance of four strikes, but will this come to six strikes?
As of now, Torres first game back would be January 14th against Edmonton.
Sincerely, 29 general managers and millions of fans.
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