Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Two

Sharks activate Torres, send him to AHL for conditioning stint

5 Comments

Raffi Torres took a significant step in his return from injury and suspension on Wednesday, as he was added to the Sharks’ roster and sent to the AHL Barracuda on a conditioning stint.

“We’re proud of how hard Raffi has worked over the last four months to continue to rehab from his injury,” San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer said in a statement. “We know Raffi can be a very effective player for our team and this assignment will allow him to get back into game shape.”

Torres has missed the last 41 games to suspension for a hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg during the preseason. During that suspension, the Sharks and Torres revealed he was still dealing with ramifications from his troublesome knee.

Back in early December, DeBoer admitted the veteran forward was having issues with a surgically repaired ACL that’s undergone a variety of procedures over the last two years, costing Torres all of the ’14-15 campaign.

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

It’s really not surprising the Sharks opted for a conditioning stint in the AHL. In addition to the knee issues, Torres’ last game of significance came in April of 2014, meaning he’s been out of game action (well, non-exhibition game action) for over 20 months.

In another roster move, the Sharks put veteran forward Dainius Zubrus on IR today. Zubrus, signed midway through the year after joining the team on a professional tryout, has one goal and two points in 17 games this year.

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

Raffi Torres
7 Comments

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.”

Torres probably won’t be healthy by end of his suspension

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 26: Raffi Torres #13 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck against the Los Angeles Kings in Game Five of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 26, 2014 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Getty Images
6 Comments

Raffi Torres is eligible to return from his 41-game suspension on Jan. 14, but an injury will likely keep him out for longer than that.

The 34-year-old forward only resumed skating today after undergoing a procedure on Dec. 11 to have scar tissue removed from his surgically repaired right knee, per the Mercury News. The hope is that he’ll be healthy enough to play shortly after his suspension ends.

As previously reported, there’s no question that the Sharks do plan on using him if he’s healthy despite his lengthy history of controversial hits.

His latest infraction occurred during a preseason game when he hit Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg in the head. Torres has apologized for the incident and said, “I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again.”

Between injury woes and suspensions, Torres has only played in 44 games since the start of the 2012-2013 campaign.

‘If he’s healthy, he can help us’: Torres expected to join Sharks after suspension ends

Raffi Torres
4 Comments

Raffi Torres has served 24 of the 41-game suspension he received for a preseason hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg — meaning that, at the time of writing, he’s roughly six weeks away from getting back into the San Jose lineup.

So long as he’s healthy, of course.

Per head coach Peter DeBoer, Torres is “still dealing a little bit with his injury from before.” That injury, you’ll recall, is Torres’ problematic right knee, specifically the surgically repaired ACL that’s undergone a variety of procedures over the last two years, and cost him all of the ’14-15 campaign.

More, from CSN Bay Area:

Torres is still eligible to return on Jan. 14 when the Sharks host former coach Todd McLellan and the Edmonton Oilers.

He is working out off the ice, and occasionally skates with his teammates for portions of practice or morning skates, but there’s still some uncertainty whether his surgically repaired knee will allow him to be an effective NHL player when the ban expires.

While Torres’ health is uncertain, San Jose’s plan for him is crystal clear. DeBoer said both he and GM Doug Wilson were on the same page for getting Torres back into the lineup once the suspension is over.

“Raffi is a guy that can help us,” DeBoer said. “If he’s healthy, he can help us. I don’t think Doug [Wilson] or I differ on that opinion.”

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks

13 Comments

A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.