Ice Hockey: Sharks’ Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension, reports say

It seems like currently suspended San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Canadian sports broadcaster Sportsnet are reporting that Torres will not be appealing his lengthy 41-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks star Jakob Silfverberg.

Sportsnet’s report comes days after the National Hockey League (NHL)’s decision to hand the 33-year-old one of the longest suspensions in league history. They cited both the severity of the hit on Silfverberg and Torres’ length history of rule breaches.

However, there has been some speculation and thought that Torres would try to challenge his latest disciplinary ruling as he has a history of success when it comes to things like this.

In 2012, Torres successfully appealed a 25-game suspension for a headshot on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa. As a result, he got his punishment reduced to 21 games.

He is also not considered to be a ‘repeat offender’ under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), as his last suspension came in 2013.

However, part of that clean record is because he hasn’t played much. He’s been sidelined by injuries for the past two seasons and missed all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman investigated the ‘repeat offender’ thing in his latest column. He said: If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

If this report is accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal his suspension, he will be eligible for return on Jan 14, when the Sharks host the Edmonton Oilers at SAP Center.

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