When looking at the center position coming into camp, the Coyotes have some question marks. Martin Hanzal has been a phenomenal shut down center through his young career, but has not found his offensive touch. Boyd Gordon is what he is, an all out defensive effort and face-off specialist. The recent addition of Daymond Langkow has brought some much needed depth. That leaves the one potentially great question mark in the middle, Kyle Turris.
Kyle Turris has yet to live up to the top 3 pick talent in the 2007 draft, but has shown flashes of greatness. Arguably the best Coyotes’ player in the playoffs next to Shane Doan, Turris seems on his way to a make or break season. Ice time has been an issue in the past for Turris, but this may be the year he can see some consistent minutes at even strength and on the power play. This organization has invested a high draft pick and entry level contract on Turris, and both parties owe it to each other to play this year and beyond out. But now comes the tricky part — training camp begins shortly and Turris is still not under contract.
Rumors have been flying around about how far apart the two sides have been to this point. Kyle Turris may have to bring down his asking price of a $3 million per year. I want to see this kid progress in a Coyotes sweater, but he has to be out of his mind to be demanding this money. The organization is in a tough spot, though, because it does not have anyone near his potential to fill a center spot. I know Turris is not a super star, and may never be one, but there is no denying the lack of depth in this organization at center. This may be the main point in negotiations from Turris’s agent. I for one am not looking forward to seeing Petteri Nokelainen play big minutes, and I don’t think Don Maloney plans on it either after buying him out a year ago.
Life without Kyle Turris on the Coyotes is not something fans, management, or Turris want but I have one suggestion in the case the sides have to part ways in the near future. The New York Islanders seem to be at a stand still with a former first round center, Josh Bailey. Bailey is a different player from Turris, but shares the reputation of an underachieving young player throughout their respective entry level contracts. Turris has shown a tremendous shot, and Bailey has shown excellent playmaking abilities. Both have not had a chance to prove it with big time minutes on a top six situation. The Islanders would not be afraid of letting a player like Bailey leave for the right price. The Coyotes would not feel cheated to sign a high prospect for an affordable deal, unlike what Turris seems to be demanding. Bailey could have an immediate impact playing with goal scoring wingers like Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, and Lauri Korpikoski. I am usually not a huge fan of these one for one swaps, but if it needs to be done, then this is not the worst situation for the Phoenix organization.
Sad News Again For The Hockey World
– I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the people on the Russian flight that tragically crashed. Truly a devastating loss.