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The case for Raffi Torres

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Old
01-07-2007, 11:07 AM
  #1
Oi'll say!
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The case for Raffi Torres

Don't get me wrong about Pitkanen, I think he's the real deal, but the Oilers should trade anyone before Raffi Torres.

Of all the players on the Oilers roster Raffi is the only one who is top 3 in the league at anything (he's arguably the most intimidating player the Oilers have ever had) and he's not average or below in any facet of the game. If you don't believe he's intimidating then just think back to the last time anyone took any great liberties with an Oiler player. After Michalek took a run at Smyth he got his brain rattled, Raffi got no penalty and the Sharks played down to the physical level of the Oilers. After Stoll got decked vs Detroit Raffi knocked Williams senseless and again no penalty. He's knocked Staal, Thornton and Iginla on their butts when no other Oiler can even make a dint in those guys and still no penalty. He's 4th on this team in pims and he takes penalties at the same rate as guys like Thoreson and Stoll but he gets this team respect like no amount of Moreaus and Laraques could possibly do. Sure Semenko and Laraque could fight if anyone dared, but how many threads did we see to the effect that guys were being bullied and Laraque couldn't do anything because the guys doing the bullying were under 230 lbs? Can anyone really remember a time when Semenko or Laraque extracted an exact pound of flesh or more?

Raffi is our leading even strength scorer and 2nd on the team in +/-, and while Smyth was injured Raffi was a ppg player. Granted he didn't show the ppg over a whole season but we don't even have a ppg player on the team right now (Sykora and Nedved have each done it once years and years ago, Smyth and Hemsky have never done it).

Contrary to what "the Oiler scouts" mentioned in the locked Pitkanen thread, Moreau does not add the physical element to the third line that Raffi does to the second. I can't recall the last time Moreau ever got any real payback for anything - he's a great team guy but noone fears retribution from him because in his entire career he's never hurt anybody. It's just starting to look like anyone who injures an Oiler player is one shift away from a ride on a stretcher and some people may think that's brutal but then just think about whether you'd want to be the guy who injures Ales Hemsky when Raffi's on his team.

So Raffi's looking like he'll earn over $2M next season, so what? He's also looking like a guy who'll earn that money, plus. Now he has to be traded to make cap room for one of our run of the mill players? Huge mistake.

Guys like Hemsky grow on trees. Sure he's the flashiest player we've had in a long time but he's all sizzle no steak. There are 30 guys in the league who are better offensively than he is and half of them are sound defensively while the other half are average or better in at least one area. Trade him for a d-man.

Outta time, still got lots to stay.

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01-07-2007, 11:15 AM
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Torres isn't below average at anything?

He is a terrible passer (that tip pass he made to Pisani was the first time he's made that play and connected all season... most of the time it goes the other way).

He's terribly inconsistant... he'll go on 20 game stretches either way where he scores at or above 1PPG, then he'll get 2 points in his next 20 games.

His physical play follows the same sort of flow. He'll go stretches where he plays a great physical game, and then follow it up by not hitting anyone for 3 or 4 games.

And while Ales Hemsky's may grow on trees, our tree is currently bare of them... and at the same time we have a player in JFJ who plays a very similar game to Torres, and is on a pretty similar career path (Raffi didn't get his first NHL goal until his 35 NHL game).

He's a very inconsistant player. And while there are a few guys I would definitely trade before him, there's also quite a few players who I would trade after him, especially in a deal for a Pitkanen.

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01-07-2007, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Moreau does not add the physical element to the third line that Raffi does to the second.

Guys like Hemsky grow on trees.
I agree that Torres is a very valuable player on the team. He is quite often over looked and critisized because of his inconsistancy. I hope that with age, Torres grows to overcome this inconsistancy and becomes the player that can change a game at the drop of a hat with a hit, goal or setting someone up. HE CAN BE THAT PLAYER!

I don't agree with your comments above. Moreau brings the physical play on a consistant basis and no one on the team plays as hard as he does EVERY shift.

Guys like Hemsky do not grow on tree's...I can't believe you said that. Sure his stats don't reflect the skill that this guy displays on a nightly basis but he's an amazing talent. Trading him at this stage in his career would be a HUGE mistake.

The trouble is that the Oil will have to give up a quality roster player to get one in return(D man)...That's the tough part, but it has to be done.

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01-07-2007, 11:29 AM
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IMO he is the top 5-7 guys that I wouldn't want to deal. Guys like Stoll, Hemsky, Smid, Greene, Smyth, and Horcoff are also on that list. IMO the real core of this team is now Stoll, Hemsky, and Torres. It is those 3 that will make the Oilers sink or swim in the next 2-3 seasons. If Jacques showed that he could be a 2nd liner a
and pot 15 goals or so, it would make Raffi a lot less valuable. However he hasn't done that yet, however with Smyth and Moreau likely going to be long-time Oilers, I've long wondered about Raffi's future here. If he brought more consistency to his game this would be a non-issue.

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01-07-2007, 11:48 AM
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It's nice having him in the lineup when we play Vancouver.

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01-07-2007, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Guys like Hemsky grow on trees. Sure he's the flashiest player we've had in a long time but he's all sizzle no steak.
That tying goal he scored against Vancouver with 2 seconds left wasn't steak to you?

I'm sorry, but you've been negative against Hemsky pretty much since his rookie season, and nowhere does it shine through more than in this sentence.

This isn't meant to denigrate Torres either, I really like what he brings as well, when he feels like bringing it. But, if it takes Torres to land us that puck moving D I'd much rather look at him than Hemsky.

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01-07-2007, 01:16 PM
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Contrary to popular thought around here, you don't trade guys cause they are no good, you trade them because the value to the other side is more.

And you don't keep them cause they are good against Vancouver.

And I like Raffi too.


Last edited by Oilerz: 01-07-2007 at 01:38 PM.
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01-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Don't get me wrong about Pitkanen, I think he's the real deal, but the Oilers should trade anyone before Raffi Torres...
Snipped
Another huge hit by Raffi was the one that knocked Weight out of the finals. That made a big difference in the remainder of the series and had to make things much tougher on the Canes.

Otherwise, I agree that preferabbly Raffi is not the guy we trade. Smyth and Sykora are UFA this summer, leaving Ethan the highest on the depth chart.

Lupul is the rumoured guy I would prefer to deal although we haven't seen the best of him as yet either.

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01-07-2007, 01:44 PM
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The only way I trade Torres and Lupul would be:
Torres and Lupul and Anaheim's first round pick for
Pitkanen and Downie.


That way we aquire the pest we need, to eventually replace Torres. I personnally would look at getting rid of Horcoff before Torres, if they would bite at that one. He's really starting to piss me off lately!

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01-07-2007, 01:48 PM
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I'd be trading Raffi for other reasons, and only because the return could be really good.

OS: "Guys like Hemsky grow on trees" You're trying much too hard now. If you actually believe this, I think we might need to take you to hockey school.

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01-07-2007, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by OilRick View Post
The only way I trade Torres and Lupul would be:
Torres and Lupul and Anaheim's first round pick for
Pitkanen and Downie.
There's no way that the Oilers would overpay by that much.

At least, IMO they shouldn't.

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01-07-2007, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Guys like Hemsky grow on trees. Sure he's the flashiest player we've had in a long time but he's all sizzle no steak. There are 30 guys in the league who are better offensively than he is and half of them are sound defensively while the other half are average or better in at least one area. Trade him for a d-man.

Outta time, still got lots to stay.
well after that nonsense you have nothing to say actually.

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01-07-2007, 02:06 PM
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I love Torres and am not relishing the thought of moving him. But you are going overboard here OS. Torres is rare but Hemsky grows on trees? Which of them almost hit 80 points last year?

Sorry man. For Pitkanen, a lot of name become avail, and Torres is one of them, most likely.

Now, nothing is set in stone. And current comments about Joni's defensive issues have made me question giving up Torres as well. I am hoping Lowe can sell the flyers on a rebuild and go more with a Winch, JFJ, MAP, Cogliano type prospect, with Bergeron and some picks.

I'll still trade for another Niinima, but I won't pay for Pronger.

And lastly, if Philly squeezes Torres out of Lowe's hand, I'll be sad to see him go, but very happy to have Joni here.

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01-07-2007, 02:08 PM
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There's no way that the Oilers would overpay by that much.

At least, IMO they shouldn't.


I totally agree with you and HA101 Digger! I don't hold Pitkanen in the same regard as most posters here do. I'v watched him play about 10 times this year, and I watched him closely. Yes he has great potential, so does Smid, and Greene. In differant aspects of being D-men. Greene will be a vicious punishing type defenseman, Smid will hit, score a few, but will be positionally sound almost always. Pitkanen will be the Leetch type of D-man good offensively, and decent defensively if he can recover from his spiral downwards from this year.

That being said I really like Downey, if he can learn to control his emotions. I believe he can be a real effective forward in the next couple of years. He probably won't be a prolific scorer but he'll be a real pain in the *** to play against!

But you're probably right it would be an overpayment on behalf of the Oilers. What about Horcoff and Lupul for Pitkanen and Downie? We'd save enough money by getting rid of Horcoff that we could sign Smyth and we have Stoll to take over for Horcoff, while Pouliot can take over for Stoll.

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01-07-2007, 02:12 PM
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C'mon OS.

You had a good argument going, and then you ruin it by saying something ridiculous like "Hemsky's grown tree's."

Really? How many 22 year olds flirt with being top 10 players in the league on the PP and how many 22 year olds can flirt with being a PPG player?

You hate the guy. We get it.

Let Torres make his 2.5 and get rid of Joffrey and his 2.5.

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01-07-2007, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Don't get me wrong about Pitkanen, I think he's the real deal, but the Oilers should trade anyone before Raffi Torres.
Raffi is one of the players on this team that I would not trade. An already valuable and occasioanlly dominating player is showing signs of improving and getting more consistent. If a trade were made we could be groaning about the loss of an impact player for years.

Quote:
Of all the players on the Oilers roster Raffi is the only one who is top 3 in the league at anything (he's arguably the most intimidating player the Oilers have ever had) and he's not average or below in any facet of the game. If you don't believe he's intimidating then just think back to the last time anyone took any great liberties with an Oiler player. After Michalek took a run at Smyth he got his brain rattled, Raffi got no penalty and the Sharks played down to the physical level of the Oilers. After Stoll got decked vs Detroit Raffi knocked Williams senseless and again no penalty. He's knocked Staal, Thornton and Iginla on their butts when no other Oiler can even make a dint in those guys and still no penalty. He's 4th on this team in pims and he takes penalties at the same rate as guys like Thoreson and Stoll but he gets this team respect like no amount of Moreaus and Laraques could possibly do. Sure Semenko and Laraque could fight if anyone dared, but how many threads did we see to the effect that guys were being bullied and Laraque couldn't do anything because the guys doing the bullying were under 230 lbs? Can anyone really remember a time when Semenko or Laraque extracted an exact pound of flesh or more?
Few players can exact retribution well within the rules. Other teams don't quite know what to do with Raffi when he's on fire. Try to charge him and its like hitting a concrete wall. Then wait for the inevitable shift when he drills YOU through the boards. Theres no doubt opponents know when Torres is out there and that Raffi is being afforded more and more room on the ice.

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Raffi is our leading even strength scorer and 2nd on the team in +/-, and while Smyth was injured Raffi was a ppg player. Granted he didn't show the ppg over a whole season but we don't even have a ppg player on the team right now (Sykora and Nedved have each done it once years and years ago, Smyth and Hemsky have never done it).
As I've mentioned before Raffi is an ES horse. Even more spectacular is his 23 ES pts is on an average of 13 minutes toi/g. This translates into a good pt/minutes played stat and one which matches up well with any member of the team and this DESPITE Raffi not getting the pimped pts that come from a regular rotation on the pp.

To illustrate Raffi's unrecognized prowess further he has 23 ES pts To Hemskys 15. This is on similar ES minutes. Raffi, "who can't pass"?!, has 15 ES assists to Hemskys 11. Think about that awhile.

Raffi has essentially been given one time allotment on this team. Play ES minutes. He's made more than a meal out of that and is tied for 29th league wide in ES pts. He's +10 on a team that has oddly struggled ES. He's been a force Es, he's changed games with hits, energy, Stoll-Torres, domination of opponents.

Which brings me to my last point which is that the Stoll-Torres dyad should NOT be messed with. This dynamic duo is better every game and is becoming a consistent force to be reckoned with that could control games for years to come.

Quote:
Contrary to what "the Oiler scouts" mentioned in the locked Pitkanen thread, Moreau does not add the physical element to the third line that Raffi does to the second. I can't recall the last time Moreau ever got any real payback for anything - he's a great team guy but noone fears retribution from him because in his entire career he's never hurt anybody. It's just starting to look like anyone who injures an Oiler player is one shift away from a ride on a stretcher and some people may think that's brutal but then just think about whether you'd want to be the guy who injures Ales Hemsky when Raffi's on his team.
Despite being a Moreau fan he's more expendable than Torres who is, as stated, a harder player to replace.


Last edited by Replacement: 01-07-2007 at 03:19 PM.
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01-07-2007, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Oi'll say! View Post
Don't get me wrong about Pitkanen, I think he's the real deal, but the Oilers should trade anyone before Raffi Torres. ....
You make some excellent points re: Torres, but the whole "guys like Hemsky grow on trees" kinda ruins it. 22-23 year olds who approach 1ppg in the NHL and have a growing history of scoring important goals do NOT grow on trees, no matter how much you dislike them. Absurd.

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01-07-2007, 03:32 PM
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Guys like Hemsky grow on trees. Sure he's the flashiest player we've had in a long time but he's all sizzle no steak.
Sorry but no.

And as great as Torres can be, hes much like Lupul in that hes very inconsistant and very seldomly that monster that he was against SJ last year....Lupul fits into that catagory as well only hes 2 years younger and I still think we've yet to see his best hockey. (where as Torres doesn't really show he will ever take that leap to be something more then a 20-25 goal scorer)

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01-07-2007, 03:41 PM
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Torres isn't below average at anything?

He is a terrible passer (that tip pass he made to Pisani was the first time he's made that play and connected all season... most of the time it goes the other way).
This is a continuing distortion based on past performance that can't explain Raffi having 15 ES assists. I've seen some decent passes in that bunch. I think you have too. Raffi's worked hard on this aspect of his game and has said so repeatedly. Lets give the nod to an improving stat.

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He's terribly inconsistant... he'll go on 20 game stretches either way where he scores at or above 1PPG, then he'll get 2 points in his next 20 games
.Again this is past results. The current season doesn't suggest this extreme of an inconsistency. The life of a 20something goal scorer who wasn't a good passer often looks like that. Its different now. By improving his passing game Torres is finding a way to increase his effectiveness and consistency. 15assists in 41 games exceeds his assist total for any complete year played. Please grant that this change is significant. I think its enough of a sample to start ruling out aberation.

Quote:
His physical play follows the same sort of flow. He'll go stretches where he plays a great physical game, and then follow it up by not hitting anyone for 3 or 4 games.
Disagree here. Stoll-Torres is a wrecking crew in more games than not. Theres still some no hitters pitched but the entire club sometimes gets in the habit of all star game friendliness.

Quote:
And while Ales Hemsky's may grow on trees, our tree is currently bare of them...
and has been bare of them for a long while. I sometimes wonder whether this has significantly impacted perceptions on Hemsky. I feel dirty bringing this up in the same paragraph but Comrie was highly touted as a star player here.
My point being that gifted players in Oilers silk look very sexy due to the fan base being locked up in a pre cba jail for awhile that consisted of watching Pittis drop the soap to no one in particular..

Quote:
and at the same time we have a player in JFJ who plays a very similar game to Torres, and is on a pretty similar career path (Raffi didn't get his first NHL goal until his 35 NHL game).
If this is any way a suggestion JFJ could fill for Raffi than this is a disservice to the solid ES minutes Raffi is contributing. There are few better ES players in the league right now.


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01-07-2007, 08:12 PM
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Wow, Replacement has said it so well. While it is not super apparent Raffi Torres is making significant strides in his game this year. There is not another player on this team like him and it would be a grave mistake to move.

Let's not keep beating the dead horse on the lone comment that OS made about Hemsky. Regardless of the Hemsky comment, the point of his post was that Torres is very important to this team, and I cannot disagree.

If the Oilers are going to be moving a winger Lupul has to be the odd man out at this point imo. He brings the least to the table of our young forwards. Torres, Hemsky and Stoll definately must be considered as important to the present and futur of this team.

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01-07-2007, 08:20 PM
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Torres is an all arounder

he can score, good in his own zone and can step up and be physical

that is why so many rumours start about the guy

as for Lupul--he is just have trouble fitting in

he is a poor goal scorer

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01-07-2007, 08:29 PM
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Just the ES points thing, i found on the random website and here is some of the players he has more ES points than:

Raffi Torres has 23 even strength points.. Lets look at the elite players that he has more than at even strength.

Elias-21
Gionta-19
Gomez-17
P.Bergeron-21
Kovalchuk-22
Yashin-22
E.Staal-19
Shanahan-19
Koivu-17
Kovalev-13
Gagne-20
Pitkanen-9
Richards-19
Malkin-21
Sundin-20
Tucker-12
Semin-19
Havlat-19
Perry-13
Getzlaf-13
Nash-12
Hejduk-19
Madano-10
Datsyuk-19
Frolov-22
Rolston-16
Nagy-19
Naslund-17
JOE THORNTON-20
PATRICK MARLEAU-20

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01-07-2007, 08:38 PM
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Nols
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So why doesn't Raffi Play on the powerplay? 2nd unit? I'm sorry MacT I've supported you for seasons but I don't understand this.

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01-07-2007, 08:44 PM
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I just do not see sometimes some of the same arguments you have against Hemsky also apply to Torres.

At least with Ales he usually only has brief mental lapses but Torres has complete brain farts, stops skating, starts coasting, does those annoying no look back hand passes at our blue line to opposition forwards. You said he is great in every facet of the game but I would say in general he is not a very good passer.

Also when Torres disappears he generally does it for a quarter of a season at a time.

I love Raffi and he should get props for the way he has been playing the last 15 games or so. He has been everything we expect and hope for out of Raffi the last little while. His Even Strength scoring is great. Hemsky is not that far behind him in Even Strength scoring despite playing 8 less games than Raff and Raffi beats Sykora who many say is not that good at Even Strength by 1 point.

But how quickly we forget how invisible he was for the first 20 games or so. He was not skating, not hitting, losing battles for pucks regularly and the only time you noticed him was when he was not where he should or making a defensive gaffe. It is no accident when he gets on one of these kicks that he quickly drops down from the 2nd line to the 3rd or 4th.


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01-07-2007, 08:53 PM
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So why doesn't Raffi Play on the powerplay? 2nd unit? I'm sorry MacT I've supported you for seasons but I don't understand this.
MacT is still not done grooming Raffi. He's quietly turning him into an elite player.

Playing Torres with Stoll and Pisani is perfect and should continue. Especially given that RPM isn't available. In short Raffi is *stuck* playing with two players he respects and who he has seen have taken ever bigger roles with the club. Perfect role models. The Stoll maturation preceded Torres but Raffi is buying in bigtime.

This line is an ES winner for a reason. One of the best in the league. They don't cut corners, don't cheat for points, and just dominate the opposition to submission. These guys are ES kings.

But as MacT has cryptically pointed out "I've finally found out what motivates Torres" I wonder whether it has anything to do with the carrot being a moving target that forces Torres to keep earning his roles and minutes.

I'll grant this benefit of a doubt despite being a fervent Torres supporter.

MacT has done a masterful job with maturing Torres game IMO. A short leash has been needed.

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