The San Jose Sharks were fined $100,000 by the NHL for comments made by general manager Doug Wilson in response to Raffi Torres' suspension. Torres was suspended for the remainder of the Western Conference semifinals for his hit on Jarret Stoll in Game 1 of the series and on Friday, Wilson expressed his displeasure with the discipline handed down by the NHL.
"It is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit," Wilson said in a statement. "As noted by the NHL, Raffi's initial point of contact was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on an opponent who was playing the puck. He did not leave his feet or elevate, he kept his shoulder tucked and elbow down at his side, and he was gliding -- not skating or charging."
The NHL implemented a rule earlier this season prohibiting teams for issuing formal statements within 48 hours of disciplinary action. Violation of that rule calls for a $25,000 fine, but the NHL increased the fine because of the "inappropriate nature of the comments."
The Sharks declined to comment on the fine.
NHL senior vice-president of player safety Brendan Shanahan said in an explanatory video that Torres was suspended because the principle point of contact on his hit was Stoll's head. He did not make note of Torres' status as a repeat offender, as defined by the league's collective bargaining agreement, because it is his fourth suspension.