Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney met with Matt McConnell of PhoenixCoyotes.com today to discuss the signing of Kyle Turris. The 22-year-old agreed to a two-year, $2.8-million deal after holding out for the first 19 games of the regular season:
Maloney’s explanation is interesting given many assume Turris agreed to a deal to facilitate a trade out of Phoenix. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos tweeted that “Turris could be moved in 24 hours, three months or not at all. The decision now lies with the Coyotes. What remains clear is Turris still wants out.”
The timing of the deal only furthered this notion — if Turris didn’t sign by Dec. 1, he’d miss the entire year.
Maloney wouldn’t specify a potential return date, but did say Turris agreed to report to Phoenix’s AHL affiliate in Portland for practice purposes. And predictably, he’s sticking with the company line of “we’re not trading Kyle, we want him here.” (As opposed to “I knew that little *%&$ would crack eventually, now he’s mine.”)
Maloney’s doing this because his options are limited. Teams rumored to be interested in Turris aren’t exactly loaded with enticing returns: Calgary has Rene Bourque, Columbus has a handful of impending UFAs (though its’ No. 1 priority is goaltending…you’d think) and it’s tough to say what the Leafs can offer given their recent rash of injuries.
In light of this, the organization has to keep the door open for Turris’ potential return. He could help a Phoenix power play that’s scored once in its last 23 opportunities, after all.