Mike Gillis addressed another need yesterday by signing left-winger Raffi Torres to a one-year, $1 million contract. Torres boosts the Canucks’ bottom-six and adds some sandpaper and grit to the lineup.
Torres brings things to the table the Canucks are woefully lacking in. He brings size/muscle/sandpaper. He will forecheck, be a net presence and score garbage goals. His seven power play goals last year with Columbus are more than Steve Bernier managed during his entire Canucks career. It’s also more than Kyle Wellwood and Bernier had last year combined.
Torres can move up to the second line with Alex Burrows out until November (especially important if Cody Hodgson isn’t ready). Or he can settle in to the third line (though there will be some defensive gaffes there). He’s also comfortable on the fourth line. He’s played them all. More importantly, he’s scored on them all.
Botchford goes on to call this a value signing and I couldn’t agree more. Especially when you see guys like Colby Armstrong and Brett Lebda sign for more, the dollars are reasonable for a bottom-six player. And Torres has the potential to produce more than a typical bottom-six player. It’s a low-risk signing. At best, the Canucks have added a big, mean, 20-goal scorer for a bargain basement price; at worst, they’ve added a low salary player to keep Andrew Alberts company in the press box. Of course, the hope is that his woeful stint with the Sabres was an aberration and that he could return to form. I mean, he’s only 28 years old so there’s no reason to think he can’t, right?