Editor's note: The above video is from Oct. 6, 2015.
SAN JOSE – The Sharks recently passed the quarter pole of their 2015-16 regular season. For Raffi Torres, that means he’s passed the halfway point of his half-season suspension.
The 34-year-old forward has 17 games remaining on his league-imposed 41-game sentence for hitting Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg in a preseason game on Oct. 3.
Torres, who is not officially on the Sharks' roster, is still eligible to return on Jan. 14 when the Sharks host former coach Todd McLellan and the Edmonton Oilers. He is working out off the ice, and occasionally skates with his teammates for portions of practice or morning skates, but there’s still some uncertainty whether his surgically repaired knee will allow him to be an effective NHL player when the ban expires.
“The clock is running. We’re getting closer,” DeBoer said of Torres' suspension. “He has good days and bad days. He’s still dealing a little bit with his injury from before. I think that’s probably the best way I can put it.”
Torres has a locker at the Sharks’ practice facility and at SAP Center, so every indication is that the club will find a spot on its roster for him in the middle of next month. DeBoer suggested as much.
“Raffi is a guy that can help us,” said the coach. “If he’s healthy, he can help us. I don’t think Doug [Wilson] or I differ on that opinion. But, we’ve got to see where he’s at.”
Torres missed the entirety of the 2014-15 season with recurring right knee problems, including multiple surgeries since he originally tore his ACL on Sep. 20, 2013. He has played in just 12 games since getting suspended for the final six games of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against Los Angeles for hitting Jarret Stoll.
Torres is a pending unrestricted free agent in the last year of a three-year, $6 million contract with San Jose.