Sunday, February 14, 2010

Have we seen Raffi Torres' last game as a Blue Jacket?


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.

2 comments:

  1. I really hope they don't trade Torres. Honestly we're going to get a 2nd round draft pick for him most likely. Do we really need more underdeveloped young players? I think it'd be better to hold onto him as I see his gritty goal scoring ability and physicality as a good addition to the team. As much as I like Jared Boll I'd rather see him get traded than Torres as Boll is not quite as much of a multi-dimensional player.

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  2. Absolutely agreed, Carrie. If we've learned ANYTHING this season, it's that we need more than a pinch of veterans to bring the kids along.

    Rick Nash talk about his leadership style being the example he sets on the ice. I'm not sure I buy it in his case, but I think it perfectly sums up Raffi's. And that's not knowing a thing about what Raffi brings to the locker room. The Jackets players can learn volumes from Raffi's work ethic, drive, opportunistic scoring touch and - yes, Brian Burke, truculence.

    The Detroit Pistons had a backup in their "Bad Boys" days, Vinnie Johnson, who people called "The Energizer" because he'd come off the bench and inject energy back into the team. I look at Raffi the same way. When the little guy is on the ice, stuff happens. Players step up their stride. That's a unique quality, one Howson should weigh carefully before jettisoning.

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