San Jose Sharks' Raffi Torres shouts after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

After ‘yet another medical procedure,’ Torres won’t play again this season

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On Friday, Toronto Maple Leafs property Raffi Torres — still a member of San Jose’s AHL affiliate, despite being traded earlier this week — announced he wouldn’t be playing “professional hockey for the remainder of the season,” in order to rehab from “yet another medical procedure.”

More, from the Barracuda website:

“Up to this point in my career, I have always aggressively pushed my recovery timelines to come back as quickly as possible from injury.  However, after this most recent procedure, I want to give myself the proper amount of rest and recovery time so that my body can completely heal.  I believe that this approach is the best course of action at this point in order to attempt to resume my career.”

“I want to thank the Sharks and Barracuda organizations, along with all of my teammates, for their support during my time with the Club.”   

While he didn’t specify the injury or specific procedure, it’s fair to assume both are in relation to Torres’ troublesome right knee.

Back in early December, Sharsk head coach Peter 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.

Upon being activated following a 41-game suspension for a headshot on Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg, Torres was sent to the AHL on a conditioning stint. His knee “didn’t react well” after his first two games played and, subsequently, appeared in just four more contests for the Barracuda.

Torres, 34, is in the last of a three-year, $6 million deal. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Trade: Leafs acquire Torres, draft picks from Sharks for Polak, Spaling

Toronto Maple Leafs' Roman Polak, of the Czech Republic, as seen making his return appearance to St. Louis during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. Polak did not return to St. Louis after the off-season. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
Associated Press
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have completed their second trade in less than 24 hours.

They’ve acquired forward Raffi Torres and a pair of second round picks (2017, 2018) from the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling.

Polak is in the final year of his contract. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The 29-year-old has a goal, 13 points and a plus-8 rating in 55 games with the Leafs this season. He was previously acquired from the St. Louis Blues in the summer of 2014.

Spaling was in his first year with the Leafs. The 27-year-old was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the Phil Kessel trade that went down over the off-season. Like Polak, he’ll be a UFA at the end of the 2015-16 season.

“Roman and Nick are both quality, character players that will complement and enhance our current roster,” general manager Doug Wilson said, per CSN Bay Area.  “Our existing group of players has battled hard and they have earned the right to have every chance to succeed this season.”

The Leafs get a nice return with two second-round draft picks coming their way, but the picks are two and three drafts away.

As part of the swap, Toronto also gets Raffi Torres (don’t expect him to join the Leafs). The Maple Leafs will absorb his cap hit, but he’ll stay with San Jose’s AHL affiliate on loan, per General Fanager.

The Leafs shipped Shawn Matthias to Colorado for a draft pick and a prospect yesterday.

Sharks activate Torres, send him to AHL for conditioning stint

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Two
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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
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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)
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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.