Raffi Torres receives mixed reception from Sharks fans


People often describe certain polarizing players as the kind of guys you hate … until they’re on your team. It looks like some San Jose Sharks fans aren’t really on board with that idea regarding Raffi Torres just yet.

The Mercury News’ David Pollak reports that the notorious hitter received a mixture of boos and cheers in his first home game with the team.

There isn’t video of his reaction, so let’s assume that he made this face upon hearing the disapproval:

source: AP

Earlier this week, many wondered if fans would embrace the 31-year-old pest. Some likely still remember this hit he delivered on former San Jose winger Milan Michalek in the 2006 playoffs:

While the team is embracing his inclusion – at least on the record – it appears that some fans either haven’t forgiven him for that hit or are holding his array of other questionable moments (including an infamous check on Marian Hossa) against him.

There’s plenty of time for him to endear himself to Sharks fans, however … which could mean upsetting yet another opposing fan base in the process.

Will Sharks, fans, embrace old nemesis Raffi Torres?


Raffi Torres’ physical style and suspension history have made him some enemies over his career and the San Jose Sharks are certainly one of the teams he has a rocky past with, dating back to his high hit on Milan Michalek in the 2006 playoffs.

Now that the Sharks have acquired Torres, the question is if his new teammates will warm up to him. Torres obviously hopes so.

“I know if it was the other way around, I’d want some of these guys on my team, whether I liked them or not throughout my career,” Torres said in a CSN Bay Area report. “There are some great players in this room, and I’m just here to do my job and help out. I’m not looking to step on any toes or cause any conflict, I just want to do my job, have some fun and win some games.”

For his part, Sharks captain Joe Thornton “was pretty happy, actually” to hear that Torres would be joining the team.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan is looking for Torres to “continue to use what his strengths are” without crossing the line.

The Sharks will play on Friday, but because they’re on a six-game winning streak, McLellan cautioned that Torres might be scratched rather than make his debut. That may give him more time to learn the Sharks’ system, although the 31-year-old forward doesn’t seem to be embracing that idea.

“You can talk systems to me, but I kind of do my own thing out there sometimes. It’s probably cost me a lot of minutes and playing time, but we’ll go over some things, for sure,” Torres said. “It’s all about trying to keep things simple. When I start thinking too much out there, that’s when it starts to go south.”

Meanwhile, how the Sharks fans feel about Torres is another question mark, as CSN discusses in the video below:

Raffi Torres’ return to action was uneventful and that’s just fine

Raffi Torres

Last night saw the return of Raffi Torres to NHL ice for the first time since the first round of the playoffs last April. After serving what turned into a 22-game suspension for hitting an unsuspecting Marian Hossa in the head, he was part of the Coyotes’ 2-0 win over Dallas.

His stats for the night were uneventful (11:37 TOI, 4 shots, 0 PIM) and he was just happy to get back to action as Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona shares.

“There was a lot of nerves out there, and sometimes my emotions run a little too wild and I get too caught up in the game,” he said. “The first couple shifts, I was just kind of skating around way out of position and didn’t know where I was going.”

For what it’s worth, the Stars did their part to try to stir things up with him and test out the “new” Raffi Torres. He’s vowed to be a different player after getting the book thrown at him, but if he has a Matt Cooke-like turnaround in what he does, the Coyotes hope he’ll still be the effective player he was when he wasn’t running guys all over the ice.

PHT Morning Skate: Where Raffi Torres gets to appeal

Raffi Torres
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Adam Jahns reports that the league (er, Gary Bettman) will hear Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres’ appeal soon. As you may recall, he received a 25-game suspension for an ugly hit on Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa. (Chicago Sun Times, via Lyle Richardson)

NHLPA head Donald Fehr hopes to “grow the game.” Here’s the first tip: don’t allow a lockout to happen. (IIHF)

Apparently 2008 was an especially bad year for the Toronto Maple Leafs. (The Hockey Writers)

On June 14, 1945, the NHL rejected an attempt to bring a team to Philadelphia for the 1946-47 season. Then, almost 50 years later, Bobby Clarke became the Flyers general manager. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Quite the huge last few months for Dustin Penner. He was productive during the 2012 playoffs, won his second career Stanley Cup, dominated the “awesome beard” division and then shaved it down to a truly astonishing handlebar ‘stache. Now all he needs to do is sign a ridiculous contract on July 1 or so … (Puck Daddy)

New Jersey Devils forward Petr Sykora and backup goalie Johan Hedberg discuss their futures with the team. (Fire & Ice)

Drew Doughty grew up rooting for the Los Angeles Kings. (Los Angeles Times)

Anaheim Ducks fans might just need to get used to the Kings being a dominant team. On the bright side, they can still pick on San Jose Sharks fans. (OC Register)

Bryce Salvador admits that there’s a chance he won’t be back with the Devils next season. (NHL.com)

Smith on Brown: “If Raffi Torres gets 25 games then he ought to be out forever”


If you gauge the angriest Phoenix Coyotes by the shots of the explosively awkward handshake line following the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-3 OT win, you’d think Shane Doan was the angriest. Maybe that’s true, but star goalie Mike Smith arguably expressed his anger regarding Dustin Brown’s hit on Michal Rozsival in the most bombastic way, as Mark McClune reports.

“If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play then this guy (Brown) ought to be done forever,” Smith said.

Is that hyperbole or just the truth?

Either way, it’s a testament to why reporters should always have access to players and coaches shortly after games. For all the times when people sing cliche lullabies, there are those moments when someone like Smith unleashes his honest rage.

It’s probably safe to say that Brown won’t essentially get banned from the Stanley Cup finals, but check out this post to share your thoughts on what – if any – kind of punishment he deserves for that controversial hit.

(For what it’s worth, Dave Tippett kept his cool on the subject, simply saying “write what you saw.”)