We’re in between game days here and there’s a number of minor issues floating around worthy of a note or two, but not of their own, full-blown article. Here’s a few things that have come to my attention…
– Elliotte Friedman recently confirmed that, as suspected, Kyle Turris’ outrageous contract demands this summer were his way of seeking a trade. EF also confirms that the Flames are one of the interested parties, while Don Maloney is sticking to his "we’re not trading Turris" mantra.
Maloney’s tact here is an interesting one. He has a player that is clearly uninterested in playing for the the team and who can hold out indefinitely by not signing anything but an outrageously overpriced contract. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much value in holding out on Turris – might as well find him a trade partner because it appears the to sides are at an impasse.
I think the current strategy might be a savvy one though, for two reasons:
1.) It shows the organization is uninterested in being blackmailed in the future. The Coyotes are a club with a lot of "external issues" which may impugn their reputation in the eyes of upcming RFA’s like Turris – the ownership kerfuffle, lackluster attendance, abysmal finacial support, etc. Giving in to Turris too quickly or easily could provide leverage for agents of future RFAs to pull a similar stunt. As such, we can interpret Maloney’s "we’re not trading Kyle" to actually mean "we don’t negotiate with terrorists".
2.) It also signals that Maloney isn’t desperate to make a move, which means a stronger (or rather: a less weak) trade position. I think the end-game here is to make Turris sweat it out for awhile and then to garner as big a return as possible. Maloney is a GM with a limited budget and relatively fewer resources than pretty much all of his cohorts. He needs to maximize returns of every asset as much as possible. Capitulating to Turris’ extortion and trading him to one of the vulture GM’s hungrily swooping overhead would likely net a poor return.
Maloney also has the luxury to wait things out because Turris remains a periphery figure on the roster. Although his high draft pedigree and young age make him a decent gamble/addition for other clubs, the truth is he has rarely ventured beyond 4th line/highly sheltered forward for the Coyotes. If he were a heavy lifter like, say, Martin Hanzal, the hit to the team on the ice would be a lot more significant and would compel some urgency to find a resolution.
On the Flames front, I noted previously that Turris would be a worthwhile addition only if he could be had relatively cheap. He doesn’t fill an immediate need and his body of work at the NHL is underwhelming. There’s no guarantee he’ll ever develop sufficiently enough to justify a big investment trade-wise, so any talk of moving a high-end asset (say, Mikael backlund for instance) for him is crazy talk. If I’m Jay Feaster, my interest is genuine but faint.
– Eric Nystrom made it through both waivers and re-entry waivers unscathed. Word came down today that he was dealt to the Dallas Stars for cap floor purposes, but there may be a umber of Flames fans who are surprised Calgary didn’t scoop him up at $700k.
As affable and hard-working as Nystrom is, the truth is he has always been an extremely limited hockey player. Cast as "defensive specialist" because of his willingness to grind and block shots, Nystrom never really shut down anyone during his time in town and he barely outscored other 4th liners to boot. When he was actually placed in the uneviable position of being an honest-to-god checking forward playing tough compeition in difficult circumstances by Minnesota last year, he got his head beat in.
His value, therefore, is rather limited, especially to Calgary who have a whole host of similar or better players jockeying for a spot on the roster at the bottom end of the rotation. If there’s one thing the Flames certainly don’t need at ths junction, it’s Eric Nystrom. Even at just $700k.
– As Pat Steinberg mentions in the comments to the Dont Panic post, even if the Flames incredibly flaccid opening two games isn’t a true reflection of the team’s ability, the boys will have to figure things out sooner rather than later. Calgary missed the dance by three points last season – or less than two wins. Meaning the Flames really can’t afford to spend the first month or two trying to geth their legs under them if the playoffs are a realistic goal.