In his one and only season with the Canucks in 2010-11, Torres played a key role in the team’s success forming a third line with Manny Malhotra and Jannik Hansen for most of the regular season. He continued his strong play in the playoffs playing alongside Maxim Lapierre and Hansen.
During these playoffs, Torres gained notoriety as a ‘head hunter’ after his hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook behind the Blackhawks net in Game 3 of their first round series. He also scored the only goal in overtime in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins in the finals.
Torres left as a free agent at the end of the season after the two sides could not agree to a contract extension. The Canucks offered him an extension for the same amount of money ($1 million), but Torres was looking for a raise. He signed with the Phoenix Coyotes for two years at $1.75 million per.
“I get a little security [signing with Phoenix],” Torres said in the summer of 2011. “I needed to have that security because I was making a decision for three, and not one. I had to think about my family.
“The Canucks wanted me back but for a year and at the same money. I didn’t want to be in a position where I was on a tryout contract again. I have to move beyond that.”
The Canucks have been missing his hardnosed style of forcheck since, but Torres is a ‘reckless’ player. There is always the possibility that he could throw an illegal hit and send the opposition to a five-minute major power play.
As a result, it is hard to gauge Torres value on the open market and to the Canucks. Perhaps a mid- to late-round pick?