Raffi Torres’ time with the Coyotes wasn’t long, but it certainly was eventful — probably why he looks back on it with fondness and regret.
Torres faced his former club for the first time on Monday as his new team, the San Jose Sharks, beat the Coyotes 4-0.
Afterward, Torres discussed his time in the desert.
“Phoenix was great,” he told the Arizona Republic. “Obviously it was a big disappointment for me when I got suspended last year. I feel like I could have been a big part of the run, although those guys did a great job. That was the toughest part for me.
“It was tough to bounce back from that, and it took me a long time. But overall just great guys and great training staff from the organization. It’s too bad this team doesn’t have an owner.”
All told, Torres appeared in 107 regular season and three playoff games for the Coyotes, totals that would’ve been higher if not for his 21-game suspension for hitting Chicago’s Marian Hossa during last postseason.
One wonders what might’ve been if not for the incident.
With Torres’ two-year, $3.5 million deal expiring this summer, a decision was made to flip the 31-year-old for a third-round pick, despite the fact he was having a productive season with 5G-7A-12PTS in 28 games and the ‘Yotes were in the thick of a playoff chase.
Torres said the club “didn’t want to talk contract,” and added “they’ve got some things over there that they’ve got to deal with.”
Considering the moves Phoenix made at the deadline — flipping pending UFAs Torres, Steve Sullivan (38 years old) and Matthew Lombardi (31) for picks — it could be argued the ‘Yotes hampered their playoff hopes to ensure they got something for players that might’ve walked away for nothing after the season ended.
But in the end, Torres said there were no hard feelings about being dealt.
“It’s a big-business effort from [Phoenix GM] Don [Maloney],” Torres explained. “It is what it is.”