The Sabres were the last team in the NHL to make a trade in 2010 and it was the perfect trade for them to make. They bring in a gritty winger that can add some offensive punch while sending a player that was expendable because of numbers. Paetsch wasn't getting much playing time as the eighth defenseman and Torres is expected to make an immediate impact.
I talked about Torres being a player the Sabres should target to play on the left side and with an hour left before the deadline they made that a reality. Torres could play on just about any line and he will quickly be a fan favorite. Sabres fans love a player that sacrifices the body and Torres is not afraid to mix it up.
|2009 - Raffi Torres||60||19||12||31||-8||32||7||0||3||0||99||19.2|
I expect Torres to make an immediate impact in the Sabres lineup. The team has been criticized for being too small and too soft, Torres will make the team bigger and stronger from day one. He is a gritty player, although he doesn't fight too much. He has dropped the gloves but mostly early in his career. He has no fighting majors this season and he had only one last season and he didn't fare well.
He is a tough guy but he still brings enough offense that he can be plugged in as a top six forward. The Sabres might elect to play him on the third line with Mike Grier and either Tim Kennedy or Paul Gaustad. Torres has 19 goals this season which immediately makes him the teams leading goal scorer. The Sabres took care of two needs with one player, they became tougher and added some offense.
I expect that Torres will help the Sabres on the power play as well. Thomas Vanek makes a living by standing in front of the net but he can't be on the ice all the time. Torres immediately becomes that guy and Gaustad will not be asked to play so many power play minutes. Torres is just as good as Vanek standing in front of the net. Players like him score "garbage" goals by going to places that nobody else will go.