Kyle Turris

Coyotes do not expect Turris to be signed by the start of training camp

With all of the good vibes swirling around the NHL with restricted free agents coming to terms with their respective teams, it seems like most of the news regarding contract negotiations has been positive lately. Brad Marchand in Boston? Signed. Zach Bogosian in Winnipeg? Signed. Even John Tavaras, who isn’t an RFA until next year, has reportedly signed a contract extension. Dare we say the future is bright on Long Island?

Unfortunately for the Phoenix Coyotes, it’s not sunshine and rainbows for every restricted free agent this week.

Meet Kyle Turris. The Coyotes have been negotiating with New Westminster, BC native for the entire summer—yet some contracts take longer than others. It was reported last week that Turris’ camp is looking for a contract in the 3-year, $4 million per season range. Yes, really. Obviously, that’s not the going rate for a 22-year-old prospect that has only scored 19 goals in 131 career games. It doesn’t matter how much potential the former 3rd overall pick, those aren’t the numbers of a $4 million man.

Coyotes GM Don Maloney spoke with Pro Hockey Talk Wednesday evening to update the Kyle Turris talks. The news isn’t promising for Coyotes fans that are eager to see #91 on the ice in Glendale.

“No [there are no updates], Maloney revealed. “But there is no movement and we are not expecting him to be at camp when we open up on Friday.”

In an climate where most teams and players are working under the deadline of training camp to get a deal done, the Coyotes and Turris are almost resigned to the fact that this is going to drag on past September 16. Good thing they were able to trade for Daymond Langkow, right?

Once again, we see an organization balancing potential vs. production with a restricted free agent. Sure, he has shown the potential to be a productive scorer with a healthy dose of flash throughout his 131 games in the NHL. Then again, he’s also shown most of the flash at the AHL level in San Antonio. It’s unfathomable that inconsistency and potential would translate to a hefty payday.

Lets break it down: there’s no way that a player who has scored 25 points in the NHL over the last two hockey seasons can justify a 3-year deal that even approaches James van Riemsdyk’s $4.25 million cap hit. That should seem simple enough. If Turris had a breakout performance in the playoffs against Detroit last season, then he may be able to argue that his career and turned a corner.

A goal and two assists in four games is nice—but hardly qualifies as a “breakout performance.”

Like so many other restricted free agents, he’s a classic example of a player that would be ideally suited for a “second contract.” If the two sides could agree on a shorter term contract, it would buy time for both sides to evaluate the situation before they returned to the bargaining table. It would also provide an opportunity for Turris to fulfill his vast potential over the next few years before he asked for a raise. Until he proves his worth on the ice, it’s understandable why the Coyotes would be hesitant to sign him to any substantial contract.

For now, the waiting game continues.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.