July 2, 2008
Change good for Torres
By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media
He is built like an NFL linebacker, with better than average hands and has legs that can get him to a hit as well as anyone in the NHL.
Unfortunately, all of it was attached to his head.
And because of his 10 cent tool box, all of Raffi Torres's million dollar tools are going to waste. In the span of two seasons, he's gone from an integral part of a Stanley Cup finalist to a salary dump, given away for a prospect who scored one goal last year.
"I'm going to miss Edmonton, but it's time for a change," Torres told reporters after Edmonton and Columbus completed a swap of under- achievers, sending Torres to the Jackets for Gilbert Brule.
"It'll be good to move on."
It's not supposed to go this way for a 26-year-old with his rare blend of speed, power and skill.
He should be on somebody's second line, not their scrap heap, but he'd slip into a fog so often, and for so long, that making him a top six forward and suffering the inevitable 15-game droughts just drags down the team.
And he doesn't think the game well enough to be a third-line checker, so his role in Edmonton was never going to be more than fourth-line energy player.
He would have done well there, doling out hits and chipping in 12 to 15 goals against the other team's fourth line, but his ticket ($2.4 million this year and $2.7 million next) was too high for an eight to 10 minute a game player.
Hence the trade.
"It's not really a huge surprise," he said. "I kind of had a feeling that something was coming. I just wasn't sure, with my knee, if I was able to be dealt or not."
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Don't expect Curtis Glencross to be back in Edmonton next year. "It looks like he's going elsewhere," said agent David Kaye, who was working on deals last night with four teams, none of them Edmonton. "They never came to the table. They haven't given me an offer since the beginning of June."