Raffi Torres

Report: Sharks forward Raffi Torres clears waivers

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Sharks forward Raffi Torres has reportedly cleared waivers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The 34-year-old was forced to sit out the first 41 games of the season because he was suspended for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg (above).

Torres also missed all of last season with a torn ACL. A year and a half later, his knee is still believed to be giving him some trouble.

While serving his suspension, Torres underwent a subchondroplasty procedure (a scope to clean up scar tissue), per CSN’s Kevin Kurz.

According to Kurz, the plan is for Torres to stay with San Jose’s AHL affiliate.

His days as an everyday NHLer might be over.

Sharks waive Raffi Torres

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The San Jose Sharks have placed veteran winger Raffi Torres on waivers, per TSN.

Torres, 34, has yet to play in a game this year after missing 41 contests to a suspension for hitting Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg in the head. Torres is also dealing with lingering knee issues, but had recovered enough to join San Jose’s AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint in mid-January.

More, from the Mercury News:

Torres, whose two-week conditioning assignment with the Barracuda expired earlier this week, was still recovering from knee surgery he had in December. After he was eligible to return from his 41-game suspension, Torres played two games for the Sharks’ AHL affiliate before he suffered what Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said was a minor setback.

Torres missed the Barracuda’s three games last week, but returned to practice with the team on Monday and played for the Barracuda on Wednesday night, registering one shot on goal in what was a 3-0 loss to the Texas Stars.

Torres is in the last of a three-year, $6 million deal with a $2M average annual cap hit. Given his age and health problems — his surgically repaired ACL has undergone a variety of procedures over the last two years, and cost him all of the ’14-15 campaign — Torres seems unlikely to be claimed.

Should he clear, the Sharks would (presumably) send him back to the American League, so he can continue working back into game shape.

 

Raffi Torres had ‘minor setback’ during AHL conditioning stint

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When Ben Smith was placed on waivers today, some saw it as a sign that Raffi Torres was about to return to the San Jose Sharks’ lineup.

Not so.

In fact, Torres remains with AHL San Jose on a conditioning stint. And per CSN Bay Area, he was unable to play Monday for the Barracuda, then missed practice Tuesday.

“I know he had a minor setback and then he didn’t play the other night,” said Sharks coach Pete DeBoer. “Where he’s at, as of today, I don’t know.”

Torres did manage to play two AHL games before his “minor setback.” He didn’t register a point in either.

A pending unrestricted free agent, the 34-year-old admitted earlier this month that his lingering knee issues may force him to retire.

Sharks put Ben Smith on waivers

 

The San Jose Sharks have placed forward Ben Smith on waivers, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Smith has only appeared in six games for the Sharks this season, failing to register a point. Early on, he missed 18 games with a concussion.

In December, the 27-year-old forward was assigned to the AHL for a brief conditioning stint. He’s played two NHL games since, receiving very limited ice time. His last appearance was on Dec. 22 when he logged just 4:51 against the Kings.

Smith was acquired last season in a trade with Chicago, with Andrew Desjardins going the other way.

The Sharks did not need to waive Smith to make room for Raffi Torres, who has already been added to the active roster.

If Smith clears waivers and is sent to the AHL, it would open up a roster spot (the Sharks are currently at the maximum 23 active players) and clear some cap space.

Smith is a pending unrestricted free agent.

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

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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.”