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.

Coyotes want to retire Shane Doan’s number in the future

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After more than two decades the Arizona Coyotes and Shane Doan parted ways this offseason, ultimately resulting in the 40-year-old forward retiring from the league.

The decision to part ways with Doan was part of a massive overhaul that dramatically changed the outlook of the team, ending a lengthy chapter in its history.

The Coyotes would eventually like to honor Doan by retiring his number “at a time that is right for him.”

That is what team owner Andrew Barroway said at a Coyotes’ town hall meeting, via Sarah McLellan.

“The relationship with Shane Doan has improved,” Barroway said. “We’ve reached out. We’ve spoken with Shane. Everyone loves him. He’s a class act, great guy.”

There are no plans for any sort of an official announcement this season, but Barroway said the Coyotes will revisit it next summer.

Doan spent is entire career playing for the Coyotes organization dating back to its days in Winnipeg (he played one season with the original Jets). During his career he appeared in 1,540 regular season games, scoring 402 goals, 570 assists and 972 total points. He is the team’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, total points, even strength goals, power play goals, and shots on goal.

Penguins announce they will accept White House invite

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One day after the NBA champion Golden State Warriors announced that they would use their trip to Washington this season to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion in lieu of a White House visit, the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins issued a statement announcing they have accepted an invite to visit the White House again this year.

The Statement from the Penguins reads as follows.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House. We attended White House ceremonies after previous championships – touring the historic building and visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama – and have accepted an invitation to attend again this year.

Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit.”

This comes on the same weekend that players across professional sports, from the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, have been speaking out and taking part in unprecedented protests against racial inequality and comments from the President that players that do not stand for the National Anthem should be fired.

During the early Sunday NFL game in London several players from the Baltimore Ravens took a knee during the National Anthem, while Jaguars owner Shad Khan stood and locked arms with his players. Those protests are expected to continue throughout the day.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have chosen to not participate in the National Anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, instead choosing to remain in the locker room.

Detroit’s new arena hosts Red Wings game for the 1st time

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Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard crouched in net and gazed up at the largest videoboard in the NHL.

“I caught myself a couple of times, especially in the first and halfway through the third, watching on the big screen,” Howard said. “I got to remind myself that there’s actually a game going on in front of me.”

Little Caesars Arena made its debut as a sports venue as the Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 Saturday night.

And even the Bruins came away impressed.

“I don’t think there’s another arena that can compare to it,” Boston goaltender Zane McIntyre said.

That was the goal.

Ilitch Holdings president and CEO Chris Ilitch went on a mission to build the world’s finest arena. He traveled all over North America to borrow ideas from other arenas and stadiums. Ilitch also drew on experiences from trips to Europe to create an experience in, around and outside the building that is truly unique.

“To be state of the art, you have to know the state of the industry to truly be innovative,” Ilitch said recently in an interview with The Associated Press. “We want people to come and be amazed.”

So far, so good.

Kelly Mulley, a 25-year-old fan, made the trek from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to make the first preseason game without missing the birth of his daughter.

“Her due date was too close to the date of the first regular season game in a couple weeks,” Mulley said before pulling up his right sleeve to show the Red Wings’ winged wheel tattooed on the inside of his right biceps. “This place is a definite upgrade from Joe Louis Arena. It reminds me of the Bell Centre in Montreal because of how on top of the ice the fans seem to be and with the organist.”

The Red Wings said goodbye in April their former home, known as The Joe , where they raised four of the franchise’s 11 Stanley Cup banners to the crowded rafters. The team and red-clad fans in the stands will be excited about Little Caesars Arena for a while, but the feel-good vibe will fade if the team doesn’t win.

Detroit failed to make the playoffs last season for the first time since 1990, ending the NHL’s third longest postseason streak in league history.

“One of the guys on the team said there are no excuses not to win,” Olympia Entertainment President Tom Wilson said. “It’s a dream come true for players in terms of facilities.”

Kirk Malty agreed.

The former Red Wings player, who works for the organization as a pro scout, said the size of the dressing room is only one of the many upgrades.

“Not to be rude or mean, but it’s like the players are going from living in the back of a truck to moving into a mansion,” Maltby said.

The Pistons, who are moving downtown from The Palace of Auburn Hills in the suburbs, will take the court in the same space Oct. 4 against Charlotte in an exhibition game. Bob Seger’s concert on Saturday night was the arena’s final scheduled event.

“It was a very bold move for Tom Gores to move his team from his own arena,” Ilitch told The AP during an exclusive tour last month. “He has tremendous vision and knew he could take it up a notch and make a bigger impact on the community. This isn’t just an arena. What we’ve created is very, very special.”

 

Ekman-Larsson suffers lower-body injury vs. Sharks, will be re-evaluated today

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The Arizona Coyotes lost to the San Jose Sharks in preseason action Saturday. What will matter more is the status of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

According to reports, Ekman-Larsson suffered a lower-body injury during overtime and had to be helped off the ice.

“He will get re-evaluated tomorrow — lower body,” said head coach Rick Tocchet, per Arizona Sports. “See what happens tomorrow. I don’t think he will practice tomorrow.”

At 26 years of age, Ekman-Larsson is a huge piece of a rebuilding Coyotes team and, based on previous comments from general manager John Chayka, is expected to be heavily relied upon on the blue line this season.

It’s also expected that he will be named the new Coyotes captain, taking over the leadership role from Shane Doan.