True to his word, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has maintained that if Kyle Turris was going to play in the NHL this season, he had to re-sign with their organization. To his credit, the organization announced that the organization had re-signed Turris to a 2-year contract that will pay him $1.2 million in his first season and $1.6 million in the final year of the deal.
Per CBA stipulations, had Turris not signed a NHL contract by December 1st, he would have been deemed ineligible to play in the NHL this season. Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) did report that there was some interest from outside organization that looked at the possibility of an offer sheet but from Turris’ perspective, it wouldn’t have made much sense to sign one because had Phoenix matched the offer (a likely possibility since no team would have offered the egregious amount of money necessary so that the Coyotes wouldn’t match and take the draft pick compensation), the CBA would have prevented the organization from trading him for one calendar year.
So now that Turris has signed, one has to wonder whether his public trade demands are still on the table. For a player who went to such lengths to sit out 19 regular season games and use excessive salary requests — looking for a three-year deal worth an average of slightly more than $4 million annually or a two-year deal worth slightly more than $3 million — as mechanisms to facilitate a trade, why would he suddenly sign a modest contract and “be focused on playing and helping the team win“?
It doesn’t make much sense, especially in consideration of an interview that his agent, Kurt Overhardt did with ESPN.com late October.
“This has never been about money, we’ve been upfront with the club from Day 1. We’ve respectfully requested that the player had the opportunity to move forward in his career by having a fresh start.”
“I’m confident that we’ll be able to work this important matter out with the Coyotes’ organization so as to benefit both parties.”
Well, it’s not exactly the fresh start that Overhardt was referring to, by having this contract in place before December 1st, it does represent the final hurdle that needed to be cleared so that his client can be dealt.
According to TrueHockey.com‘s Andy Strickland, there’s a good chance that this could happen within the next 72 hours.
As one of the few teams that had been publically acknowledged to have interest in Turris, Pierre Dorion was in Phoenix a few weeks ago. Coincidence or not, Turris to Ottawa does make a lot of sense. By gambling on an inexpensive low-risk, high-reward kind of player, he would fill the need to bring in more skilled young forwards who could potentially play in the team’s top six. More importantly, as an Eastern Conference team that has the opportunity, cap space, trade chips and need, it seems like a logical fit. At the very least, you can assuredly reason that the Senators organization will do their due diligence and explore the possibility of acquiring the center.
For anyone who has frequented this website or our Twitter account regularly (follow us at @6thsens), you’ve inevitably come across some articles (here, here, here) that detailed Dave Tippett’s handling of Turris. Having looked at his even-strength point production proportionate to 60 minutes of ice-time, he has demonstrated some flashes of offensive skill in limited ice-time.
By plucking Nikita Filatov from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a third round pick, Bryan Murray has shown a willingness to exploit this market inefficiency in the past. While the Filatov move hasn’t exactly panned out the way that many have hoped, with Phoenix struggling to remain relevant in the Western Conference playoff picture, hopefully this will create some leverage for the Senators and allow them to acquire a potential high-ceiling talent on the cheap.
Cue the rosterbation to come.
What would you readers give up for Turris?