December 17, 2011
When the Phoenix Coyotes finally signed restricted free agent Kyle Turris after a holdout that came within a week of seeing him sit out the entire season, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the young prospect wouldn't remain in Phoenix (and not just because the Coyotes are probably moving soon).
There just wasn't a whole lot of love lost between the two sides.
You knew something was in the works. Rather than drop off sharply with the announcement of the deal just prior to the December 1 deadline, the trade rumours surrounding Turris only seemed to increase. Then, as another December deadline approached -- the holiday roster freeze on December 19th -- Turris was scratched for two straight games.
But here's the wrinkle: according to Darren Dreger, Turris was told this morning that he wasn't getting traded. Then he was traded later that same day. What happened?
Sportsnet's John Shannon says the Senators were initially offering a one-for-one swap, Rundblad for Turris. However, when that wasn't enough for the deals to fall apart, Ottawa sweetened the deal with the 2nd-round pick.
Rundblad's not just some mid-range prospect. He projects as a top-four defenseman in this league. He put up 50 points in 55 games for Skellefteå AIK in the Swedish Elite League last season, and followed that up by making the Senators out of training camp.
At 6'2", 200 lbs., the Swedish blueliner is big and strong too.
Rundblad may have been having a slow start to his career (4 points, minus-11 in 24 games), but for a prospect that clearly wanted out, appears to have some attitude problems, and doesn't need a water bra to have the look of a big bust, he's a coup.
It's tough to see Maloney as anything but the winner after getting his way all through this Turris fiasco, not to mention misleading Turris one last time before shipping him out the door.
That wasn't nice, Don.
But the Senators could win too, if Turris can find the scoring touch that got him drafted 3rd overall in 2007, or saw him put up 63 points in 76 games for the AHL's San Antonio Rampage two years ago. They'd much prefer that guy than the guy that the Coyotes have iced for the last six games. But that guy might just be out of shape. From The Globe & Mail:
Turris showed up and has accomplished little so far (zero points in six games), par for the course considering how far behind the rest of the league he is, conditioning-wise. Think about this: Jarome Iginla (injury) and Drew Doughty (contract issues) also missed training camp and were miles behind the rest of the league in the first month; and they are elite NHLers, Canadian Olympians. What chance did Turris have of a smooth integration? Zero.
So don't read too much into his negligible stats in the early going.
That said, if Turris's stats remain negligible for much longer, one assumes Senators fans won't be so forgiving.