The San Jose Sharks activated forward Raffi Torres from his record shattering 41-game suspension on Wednesday, the first day he was eligible to rejoin the roster.
Torres, 34, was assigned to the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda for a 14-day conditioning stint. He is expected to rejoin the NHL’s Sharks when that is completed.
“We’re proud of how hard Raffi has worked over the last four months to continue to rehab from his injury,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said in a statement. “We know Raffi can be a very effective player for our team and this assignment will allow him to get back into game shape.”
Torres was handed a half-season ban, the longest non-lifetime suspension in NHL history, for his predatory and illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg in an Oct. 3 preseason game. He forfeited $440,860.29 in salary for the league’s longest-ever suspension for a hit on another player.
The Sharks played their 41st game of the season on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, completing Torres’ time.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson called Torres’ hit “unacceptable and has no place in our game,” but those sentiments didn’t seem to hold much weight given Torres’ quick reactivation, despite his status as a repeat offender. Torres was suspended for 21 games in April 2012 for a vicious head shot that sent Chicago’s Marian Hossa to the hospital on a stretcher.
Torres hasn’t appeared in an NHL regular season game since March 3, 2014. The former first-round pick collected five points in his five games with the Sharks in that 2013-14 season, missing time with a torn ACL in his knee.
Torres can return to the Sharks’ lineup at any time during this two-week window. To make room for him on the roster, the Sharks placed forward Dainius Zubrus on injured reserve with a reportedly minor injury.
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