Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Kevin Kurz will highlight a different Sharks player every day leading up to the start of training camp.
Name/Position: Raffi Torres, F
2015-16 cap hit/contract: $2 million, pending UFA
2014-15 year in review: There isn’t a whole lot to review here, as Raffi Torres missed the entire 2014-15 season due to his ongoing right knee issues.
To recap, Torres had the problematic ACL removed last summer due to multiple infections. He attempted to skate without the ACL, wasn't able to do it, and had another ACL from a cadaver surgically replaced in the winter. Torres has played in just 12 games since getting suspended for the final six games of the second round of the 2013 playoffs against Los Angeles.
He was originally hurt in a preseason game on Sep. 20, 2013, when he collided with Anaheim’s Emerson Etem.
2015-16 outlook: Doug Wilson said in February that Torres was expected back for training camp, but the general manager has been hopeful of such returns in the past. The reality is that even if Torres is able to play, it’s impossible to predict how effective he would be. The agitating winger’s game is based on speed and tenacity, so he’ll need both of his knees in top working order.
The Sharks sorely missed Torres last season. Combined with Mike Brown’s injuries and replacement Tye McGinn's tremendous ineffectiveness, the team lacked the physicality and energy that those types of players are supposed to bring to the lineup. When Torres was acquired way back at the 2013 trade deadline, he gave the team an immediate boost. Although it seems like ancient history now, had he not gotten suspended against the Kings that spring, he may have been a difference maker in what ended up being a seven-game series.
While everyone would love to see Torres return based on the nightmare he’s endured, the Sharks would gain some salary cap flexibility if the 33-year-old (34 on Oct. 8) had to retire. According to the latest numbers on generalfanager.com the Sharks are only about $1 million under the limit, although that number could change depending on the final roster.