The Carolina Hurricanes made an unexpected splash on Monday night.
The team has signed unrestricted free agent Raffi Tores to a professional tryout contract, according to former TSN analyst Aaron Ward.
CAROLINA HURRICANES have extended a PTO offer to UFA Raffi Torres.
— Aaron Ward (@NHL_AaronWard) August 30, 2016
A player with a soiled track record, Torres’ career appeared to be over. In an interview with the Postmedia last week, the NHL veteran said that he will likely retire if doesn’t get an NHL job this upcoming season.
It appeared as if the 34-year-old would have to hang up the skates, but now there seems to be a glimmer of hope for a player that hasn’t played in the NHL since March of 2014 due to injury.
Carolina general manager Ron Francis confirmed the PTO deal with Torres and talked about why it was the right move.
“It’s (grit) something we don’t have a lot of in our lineup, so we thought we’d give him the opportunity to come into camp. It’s a tryout, it’s not a contract, so he has to earn a contract to earn a spot in our lineup”, Francis told local media on Tuesday. “We’re giving him the opportunity to come in and show us that he can play, and if he does, then we’ll have (contract) discussions further down the road.”
Known more for his aggressive style of play and crossing the line at times, Raffi Torres has actually been more than an enforcer throughout his career.
He was drafted by the New York Islanders with the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and went on to eclipse the 30-point plateau four times. In 635 NHL games, Torres has netted 137 goals and 260 points, seeing time with the Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.
Torres will have to really stand out if he wants to be on Carolina’s NHL roster. The Hurricanes have revamped their forward core over the past few months, adding both top-end talent and depth.
If things don’t go well for Torres during his PTO, it could be the last that we see of him in the NHL.