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: , , , , , ,

22 comments

  1. Canuckles
    May 20, 2011

    Does he ever NOT look goofy? I love this guy! #KeepRaffi

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    • Steve Lockhart
      May 20, 2011

      Love Raffi.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  2. DanD
    May 20, 2011

    That last one he also kind of looks like the classic kid who broke something and feels terrible.

    “Coach V. I bwoke my thtick!”

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Daniel Wagner
    May 20, 2011

    I think I know why he looks so confused in that last shot: he has two stick blades! Where did the second stick blade come from? He’s all, “I thought I only had one stick? Am I going to get in trouble for having two? Is that even in the rules? If not, I’m always using two sticks.”

    VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      May 20, 2011

      Ha ha ha, holy crap, you’re right. There’s actually another weird Torres stickblade photo in my discard pile. Check out the illegal curve in this one, as well as Torres’s how did that happen face.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • Steve Lockhart
        May 22, 2011

        Bet that pic wouldn’t be in your discard pile if you were doing the top 15 Samuelsson photos.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • PeeCeeGee
      May 20, 2011

      Perhaps he is coming up with an idea for a Darth Maul Lightsabre style double bladed stick. Like “Hey, what if I had a blade on both ends?”

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. Christine
    May 20, 2011

    hahahaha the last one is pure gold.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  5. gumby
    May 20, 2011

    WRT the headshot – you should have reprised your line “it loooks like he’s seen a ghost, and it’s eating his Apple Jacks”.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. PetriSkriko
    May 20, 2011

    “My wife thinks he looks like: Bubba the Caveduck.”

    The caption for number 6 is one of the greatest pieces of descriptive prose I’ve ever read… almost brought a tear to my eye.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. Timmy G
    May 20, 2011

    Another one for #15: It looks as though his right nostril is very itchy and the only this to scratch it is the broken stick!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. peanutflower
    May 20, 2011

    hilarious. that’s our Raffi. Who uses a shorter stick, Raffi or Welly?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  9. kaboomblahstick
    May 20, 2011

    LOL I don’t know how you guys didn’t notice this, but that last picture to me looks like he’s picking his nose with his broken stick.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  10. Alex
    May 20, 2011

    My favorite picture of Raffi Torres was when he played for the Blue Jackets. Fox Sports Ohio who carries the games in Columbus hired a new in-house reporter named John Michael, who lookes exactly like Raffi Torres.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=695367

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Rory
      May 20, 2011

      I hope someone pays for a DNA test for those two. Is it a pure genetic coincidence, or has someone’s dad pulled a Schwarzenegger?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  11. aidanb
    May 20, 2011

    Can I get an honourable mention for this one?

    http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2011/02/109302938_slide.jpg

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  12. anom
    May 20, 2011

    “Ha ha ha, holy crap, you’re right. There’s actually another weird Torres stickblade photo in my discard pile. Check out the illegal curve in this one, as well as Torres’s how did that happen face.”

    Take a look at Samuelsson in this photo. He looks like the Maitre D’ in a fancy restaurant! I think a very nice gallery of Samuelsson might be put together too.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  13. anom
    May 20, 2011

    I love this one of Raffi:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V5XIbaAr_lE/R4KCG9KXvHI/AAAAAAAAAP8/bh7qNFphdbI/s1600-h/mactavish_craig250.jpg

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Nat
      May 21, 2011

      I think that one is the best.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  14. Steve Lockhart
    May 22, 2011

    #10 is the best imho. I just don’t even…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)