Raffi Torres will get the opportunity to find out if his rehabilitated knee can withstand the rigors of the NHL after the Carolina Hurricanes extended the 34-year-old forward a training camp invite.
Between ACL surgeries and various suspensions, Torres has only played 56 NHL regular season and playoff games since 2013. He last appeared with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda in February after being traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then being loaned back to San Jose’s minor league affiliate. He shut things down for the season following a procedure and entered the summer without a contract and a bad knee.
Speaking to Post Media’s John Matisz last week, Torres said his knee will never be the same and while he’s able to currently deal with it, how it will react to the speed and physicality of the NHL is a question that remains unanswered.
The move is a bit of an odd one by the Hurricanes, who have made plenty of smart decisions over the last few years. While teams will be missing players during training camp for the World Cup of Hockey and NHL preseason games require a minimum number of veterans in a lineup on a nightly basis, why Torres? Granted, it’s of little risk to Carolina, who can cut him at any time, but considering his injury history and on-the-ice history, there weren’t other UFA options at forward who GM Ron Francis, fresh off a contract extension, and company were curious about?
For Torres, this opportunity will determine his hockey future.
“To be honest, I’ve never been one for Plan B’s,” Torres told Matisz. “I’ve been telling everybody (who asks about my future), it’s probably going to be The Show or no.”
– – – – – – –