The NHL threw the book at Raffi Torres on Monday, suspending the Sharks forward 41 games for his illegal hit on Jakob Silfverberg in San Jose's final preseason game.
It's the second-longest suspension in league history, and the longest in the 25-year history of the franchise. There was no word from the Sharks or the NHL Player's Association on whether there would be an appeal.
It's the fifth time Torres has been suspended in his NHL career. He will miss half of the regular season.
In his video explanation, Patrick Burke, the NHL's director of player safety, said Torres, "takes four strides before driving into a high, late hit that makes Silfverberg's head the main point of contact. This is both interference and an illegal check to the head."
Burke said it was important to note that Silfverberg does not "materially change the position of his head just prior to impact," meaning he did not make himself more vulnerable to Torres' hit.
Torres was ejected from the game for the hit. Silfverberg left the ice and did not return. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Silfverberg could have returned if needed, but was held out for precautionary reasons.
Torres was technically not considered a repeat offender since he has not had any suspensions in the past 18 months. But NHL rules state that "even if a player is not defined as a repeat offender, his past history may come into consideration when determining future supplemental discipline."
Torres' latest suspension came in Game 1 of the second round of the 2013 playoffs. Torres hit Jarret Stoll of the Kings, making contact with the head, and was suspended for the remainder of the series. Stoll missed the next six games as well with head and shoulder injuries.
Torres played in two preseason games before Saturday as he returned from nearly an 18-month layoff following two surgeries on his right knee.
• Defenseman Mike Weaver has retired at 37 after an 11-year NHL career in which he played the past two seasons with the Canadiens.
• Canadiens forward Zack Kassian entered a substance abuse program after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Former Sun Neal Walk dies
Neal Walk, a tough center on the early Phoenix Suns teams who became an inspirational speaker after losing the use of his legs, died at age 67.
Walk lost the use of his legs in a surgery to remove a tumor from his spine in 1987.
Phoenix drafted Walk as the No. 2 pick overall in 1969 after losing the coin flip with Milwaukee to draft Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor).
Walk averaged 20.2 points and 12.4 rebounds in the 1972-73 season. Charles Barkley is the only other Suns player to top the 20-point, 10-rebound average.
The 6-foot-10 Walk also played for the New Orleans Jazz and New York Knicks in his eight-year NBA career. Walk, who had a standout college career at Florida, averaged 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds in his NBA career.
AROUND THE HORN
Tennis: A teary-eyed Eugenie Bouchard retired from her opening match against Andrea Petkovic at the China Open due to dizziness, her first match since falling at the U.S. Open last month and suffering a concussion.Bouchard slipped in the locker room after her third-round win against Dominika Cibulkova at the U.S. Open, falling backward and landing hard on the back of her head. She was forced to withdraw from the tournament. The Canadian was trailing 6-2, 1-1 when she decided to call it quits.
Soccer: Forward Giovani Dos Santos will miss Mexico's playoff game at the United States on Saturday, a match that determines which nation will represent its region at the 2017 Confederations Cup. He has three goals in seven MLS matches with Los Angeles this season.
Cycling: Two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso retired from professional cycling after recovering from cancer.