Sharks’ view of Raffi Torres’ hit on Jarret Stoll differs from Kings’ opinion

Here’s a blog entry from our sister paper, the San Jose Mercury News:

The reaction was a mix of disbelief and frustration Wednesday as the Sharks dealt with the fact they may not have Raffi Torres in their lineup for a while.

Nobody was ready to say that was going to be the case and GM Doug Wilson’s presence at the New York City hearing shows that Sharks are intending to fight this to the max. And there was even the slim hope expressed indirectly that Torres will avoid a suspension altogether.

But the fact the NHL wanted an in-person hearing is a sign somebody things the punishment could go beyond five games per terms of the CBA.

Todd McLellan, who said last night he thought it was a clean hit, tried to stay above the fray.

“He’s on his way there,” McLellan said. “He’ll have his hearing. I gave you my interpretation of the call last night. It doesn’t change today and we’re getting ready for Game 2. He has our full support and we have a team to get ready for tomorrow.”

As for who might replace Torres in the lineup, McLellan left open the possibility that might not be necessary. But other than all but ruling out Marty Havlat, he wasn’t ready to be specific.

“There are a number of players who have been skating and waiting for this opportunity,” McLellan said. “If it does come to that, we feel confident.”

Torres was not available, but several of his teammates talked about the hit.

“I was on the ice, basically right beside it,” Logan Couture said. “I thought it was shoulder to shoulder, a clean hit.”

Added Joe Pavelski: “You’ve seen Raffi hit guys a lot harder than that before. As a hit, as a player you get hit like that it feels like every game. You’re surprised he (Stoll) was hurt on it. but we support the game Raffi played last night. That’s the type of energy he brings to the team.

“It’s unfortunate he’s in the position he’s in right now,” Pavelski added. “But we have to accept whatever comes. This group has to rally behind it a little bit and move forward. It can’t distract us.”

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