Raffi Torres

Sharks’ Torres ready to return following torn ACL

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San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres is just about set to return to action.

The rugged forward has been out for five months after tearing the ACL in his left knee in an exhibition game. As David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News shares, he’s about a week away from playing and can’t wait to get out there.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to get back this fast because my last time it took over a year to feel really good,” Torres said Thursday, crediting San Jose’s medical and training staff. “We’re only at five months and I feel great.”

Torres would plug in right away in the Sharks’ bottom six forwards and provide them with a physical and irritating player for opponents to deal with.

Last season, Torres had 18 points in 39 games with the Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes and only 17 penalty minutes. After years of controversial hits in Vancouver and Phoenix, Torres appeared to be turning his game around in the right direction with the Sharks.

San Jose will be hoping the energetic style of play will be back with him when he gets back on the ice for good.

Torres (ACL) could return to Sharks lineup before Olympics

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Sounds like Raffi Torres has a chance to make his season debut prior to the NHL’s Olympic break.

From CSN Bay Area:

Torres said he will “maybe” play before the Olympic break, and has skated every day for a week. Torres has not played this season, since undergoing right knee surgery after tearing his ACL in a preseason game on Sep. 20.

Torres, 32, inked a three-year, $6 million extension with the Sharks this past summer. He proved to be a valuable asset for the organization despite being suspended for the length of San Jose’ second-round playoff series against the Kings, after a high hit on L.A. forward Jarret Stoll.

Aside from that suspension, Torres was a key contributor. He had six points in 11 regular-season games after the Sharks acquired him from Phoenix at the ’13 trade deadline, and scored the Game 2 OT winner against Vancouver in the opening playoff round.

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

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.
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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

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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.