Just a few days after getting the most important part of their team locked up for the next five years, with a five-year extension for Logan Couture, the San Jose Sharks made a deal that was a bit more questionable in nature, re-signing impending free agent forward Raffi Torres.
The bruiser was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5th when the free agency period opened up. Instead, the Sharks agreed to a new three-year contract, worth $6 million total to bring him back. It’s not a poor move bringing Torres back into the mix next year, but on that type of contract, it may be.
Torres was a trade deadline acquisition for the Sharks, as he replaced that physical aspect that the team lost when they traded Ryane Clowe. For the most part, he was a terrific addition to the team. He demonstrated that he could be a useful player in the bottom six if he played under control, which he did for the most part.
When the playoffs rolled around, we saw Torres slip up just a little bit. He threw his shoulder into the head of Jarrett Stoll and was promptly suspended for the remainder of the Sharks’ Western Conference Semifinals series, which San Jose went on to eventually lose in seven games.
There’s no doubt that having Torres around could have made something of a difference. There’s even less of a doubt that every single time Torres makes a hit that is even slightly questionable, he’s going to receive a call from the league. That’s the risk the Sharks are taking in keeping a player with that type of history in the fold.
That’s not to say that bringing him back is an incorrect decision. But three years in itself is questionable, not to mention the $2 million cap hit. Perhaps a one or even a two-year deal would have made more sense, simply to confirm that Torres was capable of keeping himself under control. It’s not the worst deal in the world, but one has to think they could gotten a bit better of an agreement with a player that is as large a risk as Torres is.