Torres on Phoenix: ‘It’s too bad this team doesn’t have an owner’


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.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.