We're coming up on the trade deadline - there will only be three days between the end of the Olympic trade freeze and the trade deadline. And, as we recall, it's very possible that Raffi Torres will become a rent-a-player as the Blue Jackets try to get some trade value for our little sparkplug who's wrapping up his current contract this season. Just ask GM Scott Howson:
"We're going to do whatever is in our best interest, both long-term and short-term," Howson said. "I don't want to comment further other than to say he has played very well and we'll see where we are in a month or so at the deadline.(And, yes, this quote was in relation to Raffi.)
If he's traded, I think we all can tip our hat to the John Michael lookalike and say, "Thanks for the memories." Once he recovered from last season's injuries, Raffi has been en fuego. He's scored 19 goals with another 11 assists so far this season, and he's not averse to mixing it up with anyone, any time, anywhere.
At the same time, there's a compelling argument to be said for working out a new contract with Raffi before he tests the free agency waters. He appears to like Columbus enough to say that he would consider coming back next season even if Howson trades him.
Regardless, Raffi's been an asset to the Blue Jackets. If he's traded, consider this a fond farewell. If he sticks around, consider this a not-frequent-enough appreciation of one tough hockey player.