Kyle Turris: Viable Trade Target?



RFA negotiations have been a bit of a big deal this summer, moreso than usual at least. Because RFA’s have limited leverage and a single team holds rights to negotiate with the player, deals are usually all but inevitable if both parties are even passingly interested in getting a contract done.

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This year saw a number of high profile kids become RFA and while most have been resolved, some of the discussions have become contentious as training camp nears. Perhaps the most surprising lingering negotation is that of Kyle Turris with Don Maloney in Phoenix. It’s surprising not only because Turris is completely unproven at the NHL, but also because the youngster has reportedly demanded a salary between $3-4 million per year.

The second contract has become an expensive one in the post-lock-out NHL. The capped entry level deal as well as the recent shift to "paying for potential" has caused an inflation in the RFA salaries for many high profile kids – particularly those who greatly outperform their initial contract.

That, however, is not the case with Kyle Turris. The former third overall pick has been different flavors of underwhelming since the Coyotes organization picked him in 2007. He wasn’t a point-per-game player in college nor in the AHL. He’s appeared in just 131 NHL games and garned a mere 19-goals and 46-points. He has also spent almost all of those games playing some of the most sheltered minutes in the entire league, let alone on his own team. Despite those circumstance, last season was the first time he managed to be above water possession-wise. Even then, he played some of the weakest competition on the club and started out in the offensive zone 66.1% (!) of the time. 

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In short, Turris has accomplished nothing at the NHL level yet.

His demand for top-six type money is therefore one of two things:

1.) A thinly veiled strategy to get traded out of the organization. Nice climate aside, playing for the Coyotes franchise this days is probably not at the top of an NHLers list.

2.) Unicorn on a rainbow level of delusion.

If it’s the former, then Turris might be available for a minimal return. As detailed above, he has thus far been a pretty limited pro player, but his draft pedigree is good and there’s evidence of some progression in his game. For a nominal price Turris might be worth adding.

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If it’s the latter then the kid is of no use to anyone in the league, Calgary included. He’s a long ways away from being a $3-4M forward and there’s certainly no guarantee he would ever get there.

The risk, of course, is that it’s impossible to know which option it is with Turris (without tampering of course *cough* Erixon *cough*), meaning if a club acquires his assuming #1 above and it is instead #2, then they have merely taken Don Maloney’s problem off his hands.

The reward for such a risk would be a youngish forward with upside added for marginal cost.

The Flames organization has a need for players of that type, but I’d be wary of dealing for Turris for the reasons stated. Without any further information (a wink and nudge from his agent, for instance), I’d be hard-pressed to trade for him at this point. Even if the Coyotes chose to take a problematic contract (say, Matt Stajan) in return. 

  • everton fc

    Whoever trades for him will need to get permission to speak to the player’s agent before committing to the deal.

    However, Overhardt has been reasonable in the past and Turris salary demands are so outrageous, especially following the Bailey deal, that this has to be a ploy to get out of town.

    The question in my mind is will Phoenix give in. They have some key free agents next season and won’t want to set a precedent. Is a marginal return better, or is letting Turris ruin his care in a hold-out a better option if it means sending a message for future RFA’s?

    If a Stajan for Turris trade was available I would take it. There isn’t room for Stajan on Calgary’s roster, and Turris would be our best chance of having a future 1C in the system. It would also make Backlund expendable if a trade for a 1C came up.

    For Phoenix they get a proven top 6C that fits into their budget. Sure he had a bad season, but getting a top 6C for a player like Turris is a pretty big deal anytime, let alone when they clearly can’t sign him. They are going to have to take some bad back.

    Of course does Stajan waive his NTC to go there? Or can Phoenix get a better offer? As I said above are they even willing to trade him? I don’t know, but I would do the trade if it is there.

  • If a Stajan for Turris trade was available I would take it.

    Without knowing his true intentions, I don’t know if I would. Turris is so far from being a $3M+ forward that I couldn’t even be convinced to swap his contract for Stajan’s right now.

    If he could be signed for 1-1.5M…now we’re talking.

    • everton fc

      I agree, though I would go as high as 2-million per on a 2-season deal.

      My comment is with the assumption that the Flames are able to talk to the Turris camp before pulling the trigger.

      I really think that Turris wants out. He has been horribly mismanaged by the Coyotes. First he is brought up to soon and then is misused on the roster. I would want out to.

  • SickFloBro

    I’d be careful about asserting that acquiring Turris would make Backlund expendable. If anything, I’d argue that having Backlund negates our need for Turris to some extent.

    If Calgary could pick up Turris, I wouldn’t be opposed to the move at all. I’d just hope we wouldn’t have to give up any of our own top prospects or sign Turris to an outrageous deal.

      • SickFloBro

        That makes more sense. I was worried for a minute there. 😉

        I don’t know, though. Even then, Backlund is progressing nicely. I think that if I discovered that the Flames had packaged our best young player for a talented veteran, I’d definitely be skeptical at first.

        Just my opinion though.

  • RCN

    Its not tampering since he’s a RFA.

    Aside from Baertschi obviously, any prospects you wouldn’t give up for him, assuming his intentions are just to get a one-way ticket out of PHX & sign a Josh Bailey type deal?

  • I’ve always said why not? maybe he isnt wanting to go there because of the unknown where the team will go? Ive thought maybe throw in Sarich for Turris? or something like that. He’d look good in a Flames jersey so long as he doesnt ask for 3M a season.

  • everton fc

    Turris’s demands are so ridiculous for what he has “accomplished” thus far in the NHL… It appears to me he simply wants out of Phoenix. That said, he’s going about it the wrong way, most likely because of his agent.

    Here’s a guy who played one year od college hockey in Wisconsin, and didn’t excatly light it up in the AHL. He had decent #s… But look at Guillaume Desbiens goal totals in the AHL the same year Turris had his best year – 24 goals for Turris, 19 for Desbiens. Sure, he might has had 39 assists to go along w/his 24 AHL goals… But come on!

    11 goals, 14 assists in 65 games for the Coyotes… Jackman almost put up as many points. I can’t figure out why Phoenix hasn’t dumped this kid already. If he’s simply doing this to force Maloney’s hand for a trade… Wouldn’t it suit him better, from a career standpoint, to simply ask for a trade?

    @Kent “If he could be signed for 1-1.5M…now we’re talking.” Maybe, but we don’t need him.

    Who’s this kids agent, anyways?!

    (And yes, I am pushing Desbiens as a training camp darkhorse once again!)

    • everton fc

      Perhaps because he was being unreasonable, hey?!

      If I were Maloney, I’d either break the kid, or dump him. Perhaps letting him squirm a bit will send a message to other players…

      I’d feel bad if the kid’s agent is pushing him in this direction. Who knows. The Flames have no need for this type of player at the moment. My opinion, of course.

      • everton fc

        I don’t agree. I don’t think Turris has been well managed. I wouldn’t want to spend anymore of my development years with them. And if I had to I would want to be paid to do it.

  • SickFloBro

    I’m just going to throw a little bit of fuel on the fire here by saying this:

    I have a close friend that happens to be a very big Coyotes fan. We watched a game together towards the end of last year and Turris was one of the best players on the ice. It seemed like he was generating a good chance or two every shift, but wasn’t giving up that many for the opposition.

    Turris may not be at the same level that Kane and JVR are at the moment, and his value may very well be mostly ‘potential’ (which is hard to quantify), but Turris does have the potential to be a solid NHL forward. He may already be turning into one.

    I don’t watch many Coyotes games, but I was fairly impressed with what I saw from the kid. I may have even asked my friend, “Why hasn’t he spent more time with the big club?”

    And, of course, take all of that with a grain of salt. I watched one game.

    • I believe it. Turris played absolute buttercups last year. No Flame forward had as easy ice time as Turris. Not even Jackman or Backlund at any point. So if he’s worth a damn at all he should be having games like that.

      Which is the only reason I’d bring him up at all. He played the same ice time in his rookie season and still gotten eaten for breakfast, so that’s the progression I was talking about. Who knows if he takes a few more steps forward or tops out at his current quality however.

  • RexLibris

    Looking at recent trades where a player has demanded, or at least created a situation that in effect demanded, a trade, that player’s GM almost always comes away with less than 100 cents on the dollar. Lowe trading Pronger, Murray trading Heatley, and Lombardi trading Smyth, in those three you have a superstar, a star, and a serviceable player, respectively, each demanding trades and the return for each was less than ideal. My guess is Maloney knows this all too well and isn’t about to let an RFA go without either first making a strong statement to any other potential holdouts on his team, or getting top-dollar on the return.

    I understand why Stajan for Turris sounds like a safe trade, and the trend would certainly seem to point in that direction, but Phoenix is in a very peculiar position because of their lack of ownership and need to keep costs down. I think Maloney takes a young player in return or draft picks. From my standpoint, I don’t see any trade with Turris going to Calgary as being win/win. I don’t think Turris is good enough to help the Flames and I don’t think Feaster is willing to give up the pieces to make Maloney happy. Then again, I’m neither Feaster nor Maloney, so what do I know. All I do know is Sutter would’ve moved a first rounder to Phoenix for this kid. He might’ve even thrown in David Moss to sweeten the deal, he had a habit of doing that when trading for centers out of Phoenix.

  • Dr. Nick

    I don’t think that I would trade for Kyle Turris unless it was for maybe a 7th round pick in 2014, because this kid obviously needs an attitude-adjustment-ectomy. He could have gone to the Phoenix Coyotes management and asked for a trade and I’m sure they would have complied and everyone could have won. Instead, he demands a huge contract which maybe only him and the devil on his shoulder (his agent) think he deserves.

    Even if this huge contract demand is just his way of asking for a trade, all it does is make him come off as a young, spoiled, egotistical jack-off who should be playing in the NBA rather than the NHL. He may have potential, but he could also be a coach’s worst nightmare, a player who demands playing time he doesn’t deserve and blames everyone else when things aren’t going his way.

    I wonder if the Ottawa Senators will run into this problem with Nikita Filatov next summer.