There will be no free Raffi on July 5th. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Torres was locked up earlier today by the Sharks to a three-year, $6 million contract with details courtesy Elliotte Friedman:
AAV of $2 million for Raffi. $6M over 3 years— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 20, 2013
At first glance, this seems like a very good deal for the Sharks provided Torres can avoid the Shanabanhammer. As we discussed in our review of his short post-deadline stint in teal, Torres helped transform the Sharks' third line into a legitimate scoring threat for the first time in years not only with his speed and reckless physical play but with a vastly underrated scoring touch. Torres is 58th in goals per 60 even-strength minutes since 2008 and a veritable lock for 15 goals over a full 82-game season with zero power play time; exactly what the doctor ordered for a Sharks team that struggled mightily to produce offense 5v5 each of the past two seasons.
Granted, none of that changes the fact that Torres is a noxious scumbag on the ice who quite literally never learns his lesson but at least he's also a hockey player who legitimately helps the team when he isn't suspended and, hey, at least this signing ensures no Sharks will fall victim to his dark elbow arts for the next three seasons. After striking out on the free agent market with Michal Handzus and Adam Burish each of the past two summers, this is decidedly a far better contract for San Jose.