Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris had nothing but nice things to say about his time playing for Karpat Oulu in the Finnish SM-Liiga during the NHL lockout … until a Globe & Mail interview that published on Tuesday, that is.
In the article by freelance writer Jordan Winnett, Turris is quoted directly in disparaging the town of Oulu (“There’s nothing to do here. Nothing.”), the travel conditions in the SM-Liga (“We’ll make three stops on a six-hour bus trip for no reason. It’s awful.”) and the food in Finland on the road (“We file out of the bus and head off beside the highway for a buffet truck stop pregame meal. It’s ridiculous.”).
The interview made waves in North America when the Globe & Mail removed it from its website for a good portion of Tuesday afternoon; the paper republished it later with an Editor’s Note that read:
The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyle Turris is still playing for Karpat Oulu in the Finnish SM-Liiga. He returned to Canada last week. This version has been corrected.
The quotes, therefore, were accurate in the eyes of the Globe & Mail … but not, apparently, in the eyes of Kyle Turris.
On Wednesday morning in Finland, Turris had a statement published on Karpat Oulu’s website in which he defended the virtue of the nation and vehemently disagreed with … well, himself.
Here’s Kyle Turris:
I read an article in the Globe and Mail today regarding my experience in Oulu. It made me extremely upset that it was so negative, and that it had very inaccurate and untrue information.
I really enjoyed my time in Oulu, and those who are around me know that. I want to make clear that the sole reason I left is because of personal reasons that required me to be home with my family. The entire Oulu organization treated me very well, and I feel terrible that people may now feel that I was not grateful to be a part of the organization. I know that I was very lucky to play for such an awesome organization that welcomed me with open arms and treated us very well. Everyone I met in Finland, the coaches, management, fans and people of Oulu were all very nice and made my time there a memorable one.
I was also lucky to have great teammates, with whom I have made good friendships. For all this I am very thankful and wish the Karpat organization great success in the future.
So take that as you will. From what we gleaned about the article, it was written some time ago; the G&M took it off the website to update information about Turris’s whereabouts and stats. Jordan Winnett, the writer, knew Turris from New Westminster and has done other writing from Europe for the publication without incident. He also made it clear the conversation was on the record.
Our take remains that Turris was candid in an interview and regrets it now; either because he was exaggerating for comedic effect and the interview wasn’t framed that way, or because he was open and honest about his time in Finland, to a fault.
How are the comments playing in Finland? Here’s JYP goalie Tuomas Tarkki tweeting about Kyle Turris and the “awful” food in Finland (via Ville Kankaanpää):
The caption: "We'll take 20 x Kyle Turris burger..."