The Curious Case of Kyle Turris
NHL training camps everywhere are due to open soon, but the Coyotes could well be starting theirs without Kyle Turris.
The 22-year old is a restricted free agent and the teams seem to be some way apart when it comes to striking a new deal to keep the youngster in Arizona.
It’s a somewhat strange situation. Whilst other RFAs, such as Drew Doughty or Zach Bogosian, have shown their ‘stuff’ and are bargaining from pretty solid ground with their respective teams Turris hasn’t really lived up to the hype thus far.
Selected 3rd overall in 2007, then Yotes coach Wayne Gretzky gave the British Columbia native a brief chance to shine but he headed back to the NCAA after just 3 games (which yielded 1 assist and a -5 plus/minus).
Turris was solid but unspectacular for Wisconsin, before donning the Phoenix jersey again the following season. Once more Turris struggled to really reach the levels expected of him, scoring just 8 goals and 20 points in 63 games for the Coyotes, whilst being a -15!
A year in the AHL yielded 24 goals before he again found himself on the Coyotes bench for the 2010/11 season. Whilst the campaign proved to be Turris best yet, he only found the net 11 times and registered 25 points; which begs the questions – what kind of deal is he holding out for exactly? And what does he deserve?
There is undoubtedly talent there, but Turris seems to have struggled to develop sufficiently either mentally or physically. It surprised many Gretzky gave him a shot in 2007 at all and there has to be a feeling the hype and expectation have perhaps put undue pressure on Turris, who has faltered under this burden.
Whilst Phoenix seemed rushed to get Turris in to the line up, San Jose allowed 9th overall pick Logan Couture further time to develop and then reaped the rewards last season as the Ontario native scored 32 goals and earned a Calder Trophy nomination.
This over eagerness to get Turris in the line up seems to have hindered the former Team Canada junior and the two parties now find themselves at a difficult cross roads.
Turris agent has said he will not go to camp without an extension agreed; but what deal is the right deal for both parties?
Potentially Turris could be very good, and he’s still only 22. But he has a patchy record thus far and it’s not entirely out of the question that he could continue to struggle. Phoenix ownership issues are well documented and a badly thought out extension could simply become a mill stone around their neck, one they can possibly ill afford right now.
On the other side of the coin, if Turris leaves (or signs a short deal which allows him to leave as he hits his prime) and then finds his feet elsewhere the Coyotes risk seeing another star leaving the franchise for little return.
As an RFA there is some bargaining power in the Coyotes side of the court, but if Turris did hold out it could become another embarrassing mess for the franchise to deal with, and the fans to suffer through.