When Raffi Torres signed a free agent contract with the Canucks last August, we were unsure about what the Canucks would be getting. Did they just acquire gritty, handsy Raffi, capable of scoring twenty goals a season and clearing a lane like a human bowling ball, or did they just acquire uninvolved, inconsistent Raffi, who got run out of the Buffalo Sabres organization after failing to score a single goal once acquired at the trading deadline?
The answer, of course, was a little of both, but little did we know that Raffi had a third side: the guy that somehow manages to photo bomb his own photos. His uncanny ability to emerge as the star of a gallery, with his mouth agape, his eyes bugging, his arms outstretched, and occasionally, his body completely upturned, was wholly undersold. Had we known late last summer that a year of Raffi Torres means a year of goofy photos of Raffi Torres, I suspect we would have been screaming for a longer deal. Here are my 15 favourite shots of the Canucks’ most expressive winger.
01 | Raffi is working two strategies simultaneously, in order to win this faceoff. First, he plans to freeze his opponent with a stare. Then, he’s gonna vacuum the puck into his mouth. It’s foolproof.
02 | My favourite thing about Raffi’s tendency to let his tongue hang out during goal celebrations is that you can tell what flavour of Gatorade he’s been drinking. In this case, that flavour is blue.
03 | The great thing about Raffi’s multiplicity of game faces is that they often convey emotions and ideas he’s not actually thinking. For instance, this scene makes Raffi look like the nervous hero of an adventure comedy. Hamrlik’s all, Tell me where you hid the amulet! and Raffi’s like, Uh, listen, I don’t quite remember.
04 | I would like to title this image Raffi Gets a Flu Shot. He sure picked a strange time to inoculate himself against seasonal illnesses. Okay, I’m not actually certain what the medical treatment he’s receiving is, but safe to say from his expressively gnarling face that he doesn’t like it.
05 | This is far and away the most incredible headshot I’ve ever seen. The most curious element, to me, is that this was the shot they chose. How bad were the others? Did Raffi look as confused in all of them? Part of me wonders if, maybe, it was something Vinnik said just before snapping the pic, like: Say cheese, Raffi. It’s possible Torres has never heard the expression before. Why would I do that?
06 | Either this is what Raffi Torres looked by Game 5 of the Nashville-Vancouver series, or it’s a road warrior from a dystopian future catching the first snowflake since the apocalypse on his tongue. Kind of touching if you think of it that way.
07 | My favourite thing about this photo is that it looks completely photoshopped, and isn’t in the slightest. I also love the expression on his face, which, if you just focus on the perfect circle he’s making with his lips and the soul patch, begins to uncannily resemble a semicolon.
08 | Here’s a familiar one for the Bulies, who might recognize this photo as the inspiration for our copious Raffi Torres photoshop galleries. If you’ve never waded through them, I suggest you start right now. I know there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this photo, but I’ve chosen to forget it. I like the way Raffi’s head seems relatively convinced it’s still right-side-up.
09 | More classic Raffi face. It sort of looks like Raffi’s so hungry, he’s hallucinating, and Spurgeon just turned into a chicken leg.
10 | My wife: “Raffi sure goes all out when he hugs, doesn’t he?” Truer words. For Raffi Torres, every embrace is a passionate embrace. Malhotra’s lucky this hug didn’t give him scoliosis.
11 | There are two possible explanations for this photo. First, Raffi is just lying in wait, for the moment Toews turns around. Then he’s gonna cream him. Either that, or he’s got a secret so juicy it just can’t wait until the intermission. Psst… Toews… c’mere.
12 | Another expressive Torres shot, this one kind of makes him look like a dog playing right winger. He’s got overeager puppy face. As soon as he receives this pass, he says, Ry ruv roo, Rannik.
13 | Ooga booga! I would like to title this photo, Raffi Chases Pigeons at the Park.
14 | For me, nothing spells elation like this classic shot, which could only be improved, in my opinions, if he was shooting a laser out of his mouth, like Dr. Octagonopus. From the looks of things, he may have thought he was. (Edit: thanks to Wyatt, now he is.)
15 | This is my absolute favourite Raffi Torres photo, because it could be anything. He looks a bit like a confused vampire hunter, but he could very well be having some sort of spiritual epiphany here. My stick is in the shape of a cross… are you there, God? More than likely, however, is that he’s just completely baffled that his twig is broken. That’s funny… it wasn’t like this a second ago.
Tags: Blogs are for lists, Canucks, featured, I Find This Photo Awesome, Raffi Torres, Raffi Torres Never Closes His Eyes, Torres