Mike Halford

Raffi Torres

Torres: If I can’t get over knee issues, ‘it’s obviously time to think about some other things’


Raffi Torres is just eight days away from being eligible to return from his 41-game suspension.

But earlier this week, he admitted that — sometimes — his return feels a lot farther away.

“Personally, I expect to go out there and I want to be pain-free and play. But, the reality is there are some hurdles,” Torres told CSN Bay Area. “If I can get over them and get over the hump, I still feel like I can be effective in this league.

“But, if I don’t, then it’s obviously time to think about some other things.”

This isn’t the first time brakes have been tapped on Torres’ return. Back in early December, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer admitted the veteran forward was still dealing with his problematic right knee — specifically, the surgically repaired ACL that’s undergone a variety of procedures over the last two years, costing him all of the ’14-15 campaign.

Later than month, Torres admitted he probably wouldn’t be healthy by the time his suspension is lifted on Jan. 14.

This is, however, the first time Torres has talked around a potential retirement (at least publicly, anyway).

It’s easy to see why the 34-year-old is contemplating it, though. His last game of significance came in April of 2014, meaning he’s been out of action for over 20 months.

Still, there’s a part of Torres that really doesn’t want to call it quits.

Part of it stems from how much the Sharks have invested in him — “I owe it to the organization who stuck with me,” he explained — and there’s probably part of him that wants to go out on his own terms, not on the heels of a massive suspension for hitting Jakob Silfverberg in the head during a preseason game.

At the same time, Torres is aware how big this challenge is.

“I’m not a spring chicken anymore,” he said. “I know where I’m at in my career.”

Here are your 2016 NHL All-Star Game rosters

John Scott, Brandon Davidson

Atlantic Division: Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Jaromir Jagr (Florida), Leo Komarov (Toronto), Dylan Larkin (Detroit), Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo), Steve Stamkos (Tampa Bay), Aaron Ekblad (Florida), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa), P.K. Subban (Montreal), Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay), Roberto Luongo (Florida).

Metropolitan Division: Nicklas Backstrom (Washington), Claude Giroux (Philly), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), Brandon Saad (Columbus), John Tavares (New York Islanders), Justin Faulk (Carolina), Kris Letang (Pittsburgh), Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers), Braden Holtby (Washington), Cory Schneider (New Jersey).

Central Division: Jamie Benn (Dallas), Matt Duchene (Colorado), Patrick Kane (Chicago), Tyler Seguin (Dallas), Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis), Jonathan Toews (Chicago) Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg), Roman Josi (Nashville), Shea Weber (Nashville), Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota), Pekka Rinne (Nashville)

Pacific Division: Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), Taylor Hall (Edmonton), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Corey Perry (Anaheim), John Scott (Arizona), Daniel Sedin (Vancouver), Brent Burns (San Jose), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Mark Giordano (Calgary), John Gibson (Anaheim), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles).


— No Sidney Crosby. I repeat: No Sidney Crosby.

— The four captains voted in were Jagr, Ovechkin, Scott and Kane.

— Coaches are Florida’s Gerard Gallant (Atlantic), Dallas’ Lindy Ruff (Central), Los Angeles’ Darryl Sutter (Pacific) and Washington’s Barry Trotz (Metropolitan).

— The NHL’s seventh-leading scorer, Blake Wheeler (40 points in 40 games) isn’t there.

— Neither is the NHL’s second-leading d-man scorer, John Klingberg.

— Florida, Washington and Nashville will have the most representatives at the game, with three each.

Promising ‘Canes rookie Di Giuseppe (concussion) out indefinitely

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Phil Di Giuseppe #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 29, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

One of the bright spots in Carolina this year has been the emergence of its rookies, led by the likes of Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jacob Slavin, Brock McGinn and Phillip Di Giuseppe.

But now, that bright spot’s been dulled a bit.

Di Guiseppe has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out indefinitely, per the Raleigh News & Observer. Injured Saturday night against the Predators, Di Guiseppe — the 38th overall pick at the ’12 draft — could be out of action for a while, which is a disappointment after he showed some real offensive prowess in his first-ever stint with the ‘Canes.

Recalled from AHL Charlotte early last month, Di Guiseppe made his NHL debut on Dec. 5 and proceeded to score eight points through his first 14 games at the big-league level, averaging over 12 minutes per night.

A former University of Michigan standout, Di Guiseppe had been skating on a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner.

Avs: Johnson injury ‘short term,’ Stuart (back) and Berra (ankle) out longer than expected

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

Of the three Avalanche players Patrick Roy gave health updates for yesterday — Erik Johnson, Brad Stuart and Reto Berra — it’s fair to say Johnson’s the most integral.

So, we can start with the good news.

Johnson, who left Monday’s win over Los Angeles with a lower-body injury, will only be out “short term,” per Roy.

“It could be five, 10 days, 12 days,” he told the Denver Post. “Short term.”

There’s no denying the impact Johnson has on the Avs (and, the impact his absence would have.) The 27-year-old sits second on the team in TOI per game, at 23:30, and leads all blueliners in goals, with seven.

Johnson’s injury also puts a bigger pinch on the Colorado defense.

Stuart, one of the most veteran presences on the club, hasn’t played since Nov. 10 with a back injury. There was some optimism recently that a return was close, but Roy said Stuart “still has pain in his leg, coming from his back,” which essentially tapped the brakes on any timetable for a comeback.

As a result, the club grabbed Columbus d-man Andrew Bodnarchuk off waivers yesterday.

Finally, there’s Berra.

After suffering an ankle injury while playing hallway soccer prior to a game in late December, Semyon Varlamov‘s usual backup skated this week and suffered pain afterward.  While Roy said it wasn’t a setback, he did acknowledge Berra may be out longer than expected.

If so, Calvin Pickard‘s stint with the Avs will be longer than expected as well.

Sill to have disciplinary hearing after boarding McQuaid


Washington forward Zach Sill will face the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his hit on Boston d-man Adam McQuaid from Tuesday night.

The DoPS made the announcement this morning, just hours after Sill knocked McQuaid out of Washington’s 3-2 win at TD Garden.

The incident, which occurred in the second period, wasn’t penalized — much to the chagrin of B’s fans in attendance, and numerous people on social media, who requested the NHL review the play.

Not all thought the hit was that severe, however:

Patrice Bergeron, who was on the ice at the time and quickly grabbed Sill in the aftermath, didn’t mince words about what he thought.

“I thought it was a bad hit. It was one of those where it happens fast. From my angle, I guess, it was a bad hit, you know,” Bergeron explained, per CSNNE.com. “There was no point, no need for hitting him like that. It’s definitely tough to see Adam go down as hard as he did.”

The Bruins have yet to update McQuaid’s condition. He was not on the ice for this morning’s practice, listed with an upper-body injury.