SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Raffi Torres of the San Jose Sharks poses for a video shoot at the SAP Center on September 19, 2013 in San Jose, California.

Torres hopes to return this season, but isn’t close yet

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San Jose forward Raffi Torres has already missed three months since he sustained an ACL injury during a preseason contest, but he won’t be able to rejoin the Sharks in the near future.

“I’m just trying to stay around 60 percent,” Torres told CSN Bay Area.

The 32-year-old has been skating in addition to his off-ice exercises, but he can’t push himself too hard without being sore for days afterwards.

He’s one of the most controversial players in the league, but he excelled with San Jose after he was acquired during the shortened campaign. He had six points and 38 hits while only accumulating four penalty minutes in 11 contests with the Sharks last season.

Torres was handed another suspension for his high hit on Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll during the 2013 playoffs, but the Sharks strongly defended him and still inked him to a three-year, $6 million contract.

He hasn’t played in a regular season contest since signing that deal, but he remains optimistic about his chances of playing this season.

“Today, yeah, I’d say I come back this year, for sure,” he said.

He just doesn’t want to make any predictions on when that might be.

Sharks’ Torres to miss 3-4 months after ACL surgery

Raffi Torres
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Sharks forward Raffi Torres is going to miss a bit more than six weeks with a torn ACL.

Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports the rugged forward will be out 3-4 months after having surgery to repair the torn ligament. Sharks GM Doug Wilson offered an encouraging update.

“Raffi’s surgery went very well and we look forward to having him back in our line-up later this season,” said Wilson.

In case you missed it, Torres was injured in an accidental collision with Ducks forward Emerson Etem.

The new diagnosis puts the Sharks in a bit of a hole as Torres had been getting spins with their top two lines for a bit in preseason. While he’s normally a third line agitator, he’s tried to apply more of his skill in San Jose.

Now the Sharks will potentially add Anthony Stewart into the fold to fill his spot in the lineup.

Torres injury increases odds of Sharks signing Stewart

Anthony Stewart 3
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The San Jose Sharks will be forced to enter the season without Raffi Torres. The 31-year-old forward is out for at least six weeks due to a knee injury and might end up missing far more time.

Although his past transgressions make him a controversial figure, he was also an important player in the Sharks’ late season resurgence in 2013 and his intensity will be missed by his teammates. At the same time, his absence is an opportunity for Anthony Stewart, 28, as he tries to make the team after agreeing to a professional tryout offer.

“Raffi fills a big role for the team, but it’s an opening for me, a similar type player where I like to get in on the forecheck and throw some big hits,” Stewart told CSN Bay Area.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan certainly sees Stewart as a viable candidate, but nothing has been cemented yet. Stewart will still need to compete against some of San Jose’s young prospects, like former Boston University standout Matthew Nieto and 21-year-old Freddie Hamilton.

Both are talented and Nieto in particular has some offensive upside, but Stewart brings 262 games worth of NHL experience to the table and has impressed the Sharks during the preseason.

San Jose still has about a week to make its decision and there are three exhibition games left on its schedule. That’s enough time for Stewart to make one final pitch for a contract.

Report: Sharks’ Torres (ACL) out ‘at least’ six weeks

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The San Jose Sharks will be without Raffi Torres for the next six weeks — and possibly more.

Torres, hurt during San Jose’s preseason home opener against Anaheim on Friday, suffered a knee injury that will likely shelve him for the first month of the season, according to CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz.

Kurz also reports the “worst case” scenario could land Torres on IR for 3-4 months:

According to general manager Doug Wilson, the Sharks have not made any final determination as to whether Torres will have surgery. That decision will be made at some point this week, depending on the damage.

“We’ll let the swelling go down and get it diagnosed properly, and go from there. There are many different options to it,” Wilson said.

If Torres does have surgery, he would miss three-to-four months.

The injury occurred during the second period of a 3-2 OT loss, when Torres got tangled with Ducks forward Emerson Etem. Though Sharks head coach Todd McLellan called it “a complete accident,” the collision was forceful enough to knock Torres and Etem out of the game entirely (Torres didn’t return; Etem came out for two more shifts before calling it a night.)

Torres didn’t play in Saturday’s game, a 3-2 OT win over Phoenix.

Torres, 31, was acquired by San Jose at last year’s 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.

In June, the Sharks re-signed Torres to a three-year, $6 million deal.

Sharks’ Torres injured in ‘complete accident’ collision with Ducks’ Etem

San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes
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San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres went to the locker room after a collision with Anaheim Ducks forward Emerson Etem during Friday’s exhibition game.

He did not return for the third period.

“He’s being checked by the medical staff and when we know something, we’ll let you know,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said Friday night, as per the San Jose Mercury News.

“It’s obviously not a good situation for either player, Etem or Torres. A complete accident, too. We hope they’ll both be well and ready to play.”