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NHL fines Sharks $100K for Torres suspension critique

May 18, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

dougwilson Getty Images

The NHL fined the San Jose Sharks organization $100K after GM Doug Wilson called the Raffi Torres suspension “grossly unfair.”

(You can read the full Sharks’ statement here.)

The league explains that the Sharks received an automatic $25K fine for discussing the suspension within a 48-hour window, while the extra $75K stems from the “inappropriate nature of the comments.”

The press release related to the fine points to this rule about “prohibited communications.”

“… 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…”

Considering the games and money lost from the suspension, Torres’ hit on Jarret Stoll ranks as one of the costliest in recent history.

Read this post for the league’s explanation for the series-long suspension.

Related: Sharks will stay silent.

  1. sjsblitz - May 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Never back down! Respect to Wilson for speaking his mind, worth the fine

    • sabatimus - May 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      The fine had to happen, even though Doug Wilson is right. Why? Because if the NHL didn’t fine him, they’d be de facto endorsing Wilson’s statements.

  2. sjsblitz - May 18, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    *100k fine for publicly calling Shanny an idiot

    • manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      I think we can all agree Shanahan has been inconsistent at best. But this fine is for the same reason Torres got tossed for the series: Inability to abide by the rules. Like ‘em or not, everybody has to play by the same rules. Getting fined for whining about it just makes you look extra thick.

      • mpg44 - May 18, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        I slice the point that was attempted to be made is that teams are NOT playin by the same rules.

  3. manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Good. Maybe now they’ll shut up about a hit that only they see as legit and play some hockey.

    • yournuts - May 19, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Please, I am not a Shark fan but that is not worth a suspension for the series and if you think it is then you’re pretty stupid. It looks like the the league wants to give the Kings an advantage! Better Ratings?

  4. jimw81 - May 18, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    NHL at this point needs to replace shannhan.he’s be ineffective the last three seasons. this fine just proves the suspension was a mistake and they are covering themselves from criticism but they just made things worst.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      What makes you think the next guy will be better? It’s a tough job and the same complaints that were made about Campbell, are made about Shanny and will be made about the next guy.

      • sabatimus - May 19, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        I’d argue that, in most cases, it’s a tough job only if your palms are getting greased.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 19, 2013 at 12:25 AM

        Huh? So individual teams are paying Shannahan under the table?

  5. sjsharks66 - May 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    WOW doug wilson calls the NHL out about tweaking the rules for specific players and pays the price. More GM’s need to do this. The NHL is a joke.

    • manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      You’re obviously a pretty big fan, so I wonder what watching a “joke” makes you. Or do you plan on taking up cheese making?

    • hammerhead5573 - May 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      “The NHL is a joke”.

      You have an option, right?.

      I’m assuming any player you liked has never been put out of a game or a series due to Torres stupidity. And based on some of the comments I see you post, you would be the first to CRY for him to be suspended. Please spare yourself and everyone else with your mindless crap.

  6. sjsharks66 - May 18, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Manchester, you never bring ANYTHING worth discussing into these comments. You talk down on everyone and every team and cant focus on the main point. The NHL is one of the poorest ran leagues in sports. Just because I hate the organization does not mean I hate the sport.

    • manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      Yet you respond. And you obviously don’t read all my comments, since I in fact have praised the Sharks for their play (mostly) and was the only Kings fan on here warning others who think the Kings will sweep. But thanks for the blanket insult, I expect no less from you.

      The “main point” here is the Sharks’ GM getting fined for his mouth. He deserved it. Is $100G worth it? Torres is still gone and now the organization is a hundred thou lighter. To me that’s the epitome of stupid. You aren’t going to change the system that way and Wilson should know that.

      I can’t argue that the NHL could be better run. Just about every major sport could be better run. What bugs me are homers like you whining incessantly over spilt milk. What are you going to do when a bad call goes in favor of the Sharks? Perspective is a valuable thing, but you have to make your own breaks. All the Sharks need to do is play hard enough all game, instead of in spurts. Then they’ll only have to worry about losing a fourth-liner instead of their composure.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        I’m a fan of neither team. That suspension is garbage. There’s no doubt in my mind or that of many other fans’ that that would not be a suspendable hit if thrown by 99% of NHL players. Repeat offender status should only determine the length of a suspension, not whether or not a hit is suspendable. The league is a joke and everyone knows it.

      • manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

        1943: A hit to the head is a hit to the head. That’s what made it a suspension. And Torres repeat behavior did in fact make it worse. I’m glad the league sees differently from you and “many other fans” because I’m not interested in watching 70s hockey again.

      • mpg44 - May 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        Hey Manchester …. If a hit to the head is a hit to the head and that’s why Torres was suspended . Then tell me why Nash was NOT suspended for his hit to the head. The NHL is trying to cover up the huge double standard that is happening right now. And not doing a very good job at it

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      Poorest ran leagues….
      MLB and NBA are right there my man, and some would cry the the NFL should be included (it shouldn’t) But trying to decide who runs their league worse between Gary, David and Bud is a tough task.

      • greenmtnboy31 - May 19, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        MLB and Selig might be close to being a garbage commissioner, but clearly Bettman is in a league of his own when it comes to killing a league. He’s overseen three work stoppages and the fans absolutely hate the guy as evidenced by the chorus of boos every year he steps on the ice to hand off The Cup. The further evidence of the imbecile decisions he oversees from Shanahan and Campbell before him only solidifies the midget as a disaster for the NHL

  7. sens101 - May 18, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Shanahan is an idiot. these decisions should never be left up to one person. A panel needs to be set up with about 4 ppl and reps from the NHL and PA….the only way everyone can live with the decisions

    • 19to77 - May 18, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      I would love to see Kerry Fraser (or really any generally well-regarded former ref) on a panel evaluating suspensions. Shanahan’s about as consistent as a roulette wheel. Hell, that’s probably how he decides.

      • cardsandbluesforever - May 18, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        Kerry Fraser would be an even worse choice than Shanahan. he is well known for for playing favorites against teams he didnt like when it came to calling penalties on the ice.

  8. 19to77 - May 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Fined $100,000 for not falling quietly in line. That’s about what I’d expect from the NHL. “Tout the party line or else.”

  9. gsprulz - May 18, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Bold move but, this will bring change to the NHL after the irrational decision in NY.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      No it will not. Just because people in San Jose find the decision incorrect, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.

  10. sjsharks66 - May 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Yeah! Because Torres did not take out Milan Michalek. He changed his game though. I don’t hold childish grudges. If a person/player changes their ways, i can accept that. Everyone is allowed to become a better player.

    • clutchfan - May 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Torres concussed another player with a hit to the head, he has a lot of baggage, so whether he meant to or not, he has lost getting any benefit of the doubt at all. Sharks won’t gain anything in these playoffs by whining anymore about it. When you get a player with a dirty track record like Torres (or Carcillo etc.), fact is, you have to live with the consequences.

  11. sjsharks66 - May 18, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I just said that this was BS. Sorry that I think my team is getting the short end of the straw at the moment. Because I am THE ONLY fan that would be slightly upset about this.

    Seriously dude? Think about if this was against the Kings. Would you honestly say… “Yeah thats fair” if you claim you would, you are in denial or cant man up and say you would be upset.

    • hammerhead5573 - May 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Ok here is the point I am trying to make. And I have no idea who the other guy is so this is my point only. I am a Hawks fan and we have Carcillo. He has a reputation, right wrong or indifferent, he has a reputation. If he were to do something that is remotely borderline and got a suspension, than I would be the first to say, goodbye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.. He just put the team in a worse situation than if he just had not shown up at all. You can put a incredible hit on someone with out going for something that is borderline suspension material (near the head). You can take the stripes off a tiger but it is still a tiger. Additionally I should not have said what I did earlier about crying and offer my apologies. But, look at the bigger picture.

      • cardsandbluesforever - May 18, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        i think you need to take your own advice and look at the bigger picture.
        when a player has made some bad decisions in the past he automaticaly has some baggage that will follow him around for a long time. even the slightest “questionable” play durring the game after that point, the automatic response by officials and the league is to throw the book at him. we all know that if any other player on the sharks team had made that hit no one would have given the play a second look, most likely no penalty call either. but because the jersey just happened to say “TORRES” on the back of it the play is handled completely differently. how is a person supposed to play hockey with that hanging over thier head?

  12. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 18, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I’m reading a lot of crying about the league using it’s own by-laws that the league and owners agreed to a long time ago.

    Team officials, don’t criticize the league or you will be subject to fines.
    They knew they we’re risking a fine, it was worth it to them to criticize them anyways, they were fined

    Big deal, it’s not your money
    And every league has by-laws like this, it’s smart business as a league to have them.
    Get over it

  13. wicky888 - May 18, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    I LOVED the response by San Jose. I’m sick of tired of the same teams and players getting special treatment while the NHL picks and chooses who will be suspended and for how long. It’s about time someone called them on their BS.

    • dannymac17 - May 18, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      What? A repeat offender that goes out with the sole intention of putting people out of the game and you are saying they are picking and choosing?

      You are a dolt.

      • wicky888 - May 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        First, that hit wasn’t worth that suspension. Second, the “repeat offender” status is just the NHLs way of playing favorites. Third, who says “dolt”?

  14. aventador12 - May 18, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Wow. Makes one wonder how the league comes-up with a number for the fine.

  15. jakreidler - May 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Without even acknowledging the legality of the hit, the fact that the NHL would fine a team for making a statement of their opinion on a ruling is an utter disgrace. Man up Shanny. What is this, basketball?

  16. jimw81 - May 18, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Torres is a marked man by the league. anything he does ice will always end up in long suspension. Shanny hates Torres because he was on that Edmonton team that eliminated the red wings and was shanny’s last best chance to win a cup.

  17. blomfeld - May 18, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    BETTMAN ROCKS !!!!!!!!

    Only a sucker harps on about things not being fair, etc. So get with the program you idiots and enjoy the ride … if not, then just ‘zip it’ and get the hell off the bus !

  18. usm418 - May 18, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Wilson was right and I applaud him for standing up for the rule as written.

  19. joey4id - May 19, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    The suspension was the right decision. You cannot make the head the principal point of contact. The Sharks deserved the fine. NHL must ensure all rules are followed, and must do so in a consistent manner.

  20. xxakshunxx - May 19, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    do fines like this go towards charities the same way in the NFL? or is this going directly into Shannys pockets

  21. gallyhatch - May 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the NBA fines coaches / organizations for criticizing the officials I think it’s also a pretty big offense in the other sports. The fine to me is a non story.

    I think the Torres hit deserved a couple of games, but not the rest of the series.

    The inconsistent officiating is a problem though…… I had no problem with the suspension of Ference in round one, but in the next game, Phaneuf went high on Paille, with barely a mention by anyone, let alone a penalty or review. Bourque’s high elbow in the Habs / Sens series was as disgusting, blatant and intentional as a hit gets, and he got nothing.
    Yet Gryba got two games for a good legal hit that had a bad result.

    These inconsistencies are insane. It makes the league look really bad.

  22. thailer35 - May 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Um, am I the only one who noticed the once banned joey4id just posted something?

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