San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres was suspended for the remainder of the Shark’s Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings, because of a heavy shot to the head region of Kings center Jarret Stoll. The suspension did not sit well with the Sharks and they immediately sent out a press release that called the NHL’s decision to suspend Torres for the series “grossly unfair” to Torres, the team and fans.
The release violated NHL rules and resulted in an automatic $25,000 fine for discussing the suspension within two days. To add insult to injury, the NHL fined the Sharks an additional $75,000 for what was considered the “inappropriate nature of the comments.”
Both the hit and the teams statement were costly, but now they need to put this behind them and focus on their current series.
Here is the league’s explanation of exact violations for “prohibited communications,” via Pro Hockey Talk:
“In addition to the foregoing, the League also has imposed a prohibition on Club employees and representatives communicating with the Department of Player Safety (or with the Commissioner in the case of an appeal of a decision) in order to attempt to influence its (or his) determination regarding whether or not to impose Supplemental Discipline. Specifically, such communications are prohibited beginning with warm-up preceding a game, and continuing until forty-eight (48) hours after the later of: (i) the conclusion of such game, or (ii) in the event the Department of Player Safety holds a hearing, within forty-eight (48) hours following a disciplinary decision. In the event of an appeal to the Commissioner, Club employees and representatives are also prohibited from discussing the merits of the Supplemental Discipline determination that is the subject of the appeal with the Commissioner or the Department of Player Safety until forty eight (48) hours after the Commissioner’s decision. The foregoing prohibition extends to include formal team statements to the media and press releases issued during such period.”
The Sharks will just have to move forward and find a way to make it past the defending Stanley Cup champions if they want to get Torres back on the ice this postseason.