San Jose agreed to terms with forward Raffi Torres on a three-year contract extension, the club announced on Thursday.
“We are very excited to bring Raffi back to the San Jose Sharks,” said GM Doug Wilson Wilson. “He competes hard in all three zones and brought a lot of ingredients to our line-up last season.
“We think he is a great fit for our club moving forward.”
According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the deal is worth $6 million, carrying an average annual cap hit of $2 million, a nice bump from his two-year, $3.5 million deal that was set to expire on July 5.
Torres, 31, was acquired by San Jose at the trade deadline and proceeded to appear in 11 regular season games, scoring six points while racking up 38 hits.
In the playoffs, Torres had an effective first round against Vancouver, scoring the winning OT tally in Game 2 while registering 18 hits.
But then — as it often does with Torres — controversy struck.
He was suspended for the duration of the Western Conference semifinals against Los Angeles after hitting Kings forward Jarret Stoll in the head.
The Sharks jumped to Torres defense following the suspension announcement, calling the decision “grossly unfair.” That earned the organization a stiff $100,000 fine, though the actions taken by Wilson seemed to have an effect on Torres, who said he wanted to return to San Jose following its Game 7 loss to the Kings.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.