SAN JOSE- Considered a vicious villain over the years as an opponent, Sharks winger Raffi Torres is now one of the top favorites amongst San Jose fans. Since coming over at the trade deadline last season from Phoenix, Torres has made a seamless transition into Sharks territory. His teammates love having him on their side and the organization has backed him 100% of the way. As for Torres’ impressive on ice performance down the stretch and into the playoffs, it is quite clear what the Sharks have in No. 13. Torres is a glue guy, he is the type of ignition sparking, physical energy guy that one could argue that the Sharks have been missing in recent years.
Unfortunately for San Jose, Torres was forced to watch the final five games of the playoffs last season from the press box due to what many thought was an unwarranted suspension. San Jose showed their support for Torres when GM Doug Wilson came out with a statement publicly denouncing the suspension. Wilson was subsequently fined for the comments (which were actually 100% accurate). In the offseason Wilson and the Sharks showed Torres even more support and affirmation by signing him to a three year, $6 million dollar deal.
At day 4 of Sharks training camp, we checked in with No. 13.
Question: “First things first, how was your summer? Were you able to get away from the game a bit?”
Torres: “Just a little vacation time with the family in Mexico. Other than that just did some golfing, got a couple young kids at home so they keep me busy. But I just relaxed, try to shut your mind off a bit and train hard and be ready to go. It’s good to be back to work.”
Q: “You’ve had some time to reflect now, can you just give me some of your thoughts on having to watch the last five games and not be able to be out there?”
RT: “It was tough obviously, I came here, they traded for me for the playoffs, and you know obviously things didn’t work out for the last series but it’s over and done with now. I’ve moved on from that, I don’t really think about it too much. It’s a new season, that’s the great thing about being an athlete, you get to start fresh every year. You know you learn from it and hopefully help these guys down the stretch again.”
Q: “Given the way things ended for the team in a Game 7, are you itching to get back out there more than usual?”
RT: “No, I used to have that feeling but now I just be calm, be prepared to go and make sure I’m ready to go. I think the main point right now at this point in my career is to make sure I’m ready and get a little better every day. You don’t want to take a step backwards, you want to keep moving forward, keep putting the work in.”
Q: You’ve bounced around the league a bit but have meshed well here right away and signed that three year deal, how nice is the security that comes with that contract?
RT: “The security is always great, you know it’s nice to be wanted somewhere, to have them back you up like that and give you some years [it feels good]. Ultimately I’ll go into every year like it’s the last year of my contract. You don’t want to have the mentality of kind of letting up for a couple years. Mentally I go into any season like I’m working for a contract and that’s the mindset I need to have in order to be effective everyday.”
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