November 22, 2011
Kyle Turris(notes) news was an inevitability this week, what with the Phoenix Coyotes' forward still unsigned only eight days from the December 1st deadline, after which he would have been ineligible to play this season.
Thankfully, it won't come to that, as the former 3rd overall pick has agreed to a two-year contract, as per Darren Dreger.
The deal is worth $1.2 million this season, and $1.6 the next, which is a far cry from the $4 million Turris was reportedly asking for earlier this year. Why the discount?
Tradability, one assumes, and according to Dreger, that's still a prime option.
You'd assume so. As is usually the case when you force someone to do something they don't want to do, the relationship here has probably suffered. If Turris wanted out before, he doesn't want that less now.
Presumably, this deal isn't about Turris finally embracing the organization from which he clearly wants to be emancipated, considering his outrageous contract demands. Rather, this was about the young center weighing his options and choosing the purgatory that allows him to keep playing over the purgatory that forces him to miss a year of development.
And that's why Don Maloney was always going to win this standoff. As an RFA, Turris had little wiggle room. The Coyotes' GM didn't blink, and as the cutoff approached, Turris's camp had to give a little.
There has been interest from other teams. According to Dreger, there was some offer sheet interest, and according to News 1130 in Vancouver, Turris's hometown Canucks were involved at one time.
However, it never materialized, likely because Turris's ask of $4 million was a Coyotes-exclusive. Any offer sheet would have come in at a more reasonable rate, as the contract eventually did, and Maloney would have matched.
If Turris wants out, the Coyotes will dictate how he goes, when he goes, and who comes back.
For now, however, both sides are making nice, at least publicly. From the Coyotes' press release:
"We are pleased to agree to terms with Kyle on a multi-year contract," said Maloney. "Kyle is a top, young player who will make us a better team. We look forward to having him in our lineup so he can contribute to our team."
[...] "I am happy to sign with Phoenix and start playing," said Turris. "It's been a long process, but now I am focused on playing and helping the team win."
You'll notice Turris didn't say he was happy to 'stay' in Phoenix. That's because he probably won't.