Sharks Fined $100,000 for GM Doug Wilson's Comments on Raffi Torres' Suspension
The NHL suspended Torres for the remainder of San Jose's second-round series against the defending champion Los Angeles Kings after a hit on Jarret Stoll in Game 1—something that Wilson felt was an overreaction by the league and simply a result of Torres' past decisions influencing his current punishment.
According to NHL.com, Wilson addressed the suspension in an official statement on Friday:
Upon review of the incident, it is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit. ... Comparing the facts of this incident against the actual wording of Rule 48.1, it appears that the NHL has not only made an inappropriate application of this rule but is trying to make an example out of a player who is being judged on past events.
The general manager also pointed out that Torres has dramatically changed regarding penalty minutes this season, taking "only six minor penalties in 39 games."
This comes, of course, after the league suspended the forward 25 games last season for a hit on Marian Hossa in the first round of the playoffs. It later reduced the suspension to 21 games, which still carried over into the start of the 2013 season.
However, the NHL didn't feel the same way about Wilson's comments and fined the team due to the timing and inappropriate nature of the remarks.
According to the league statement on NHL.com:
The fine was issued for violation of League Rules that prohibit formal team statements to the media during the 48-hour period following a disciplinary decision. The Rule calls for an automatic fine of $25,000. The Sharks were fined an additional $75,000 under Article 6 of the League's Constitution due to the inappropriate nature of the comments.
The fine comes at a frustrating time for the Sharks, who find themselves trailing 2-0 in their second-round series against the Kings heading into Game 3.
The Sharks squandered a late 3-2 lead in Game 2 to lose 4-3, and they have looked far from the team that swept the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
Game 3 is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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