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.

P.K. Subban gets a warm tribute during his return to Nashville

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It would have been silly for Nashville Predators fans to boo P.K. Subban during his return to “Smashville.”

Subban didn’t choose to be traded from Montreal to Nashville, and he didn’t elect to be sent from Nashville to the New Jersey Devils, either.

Sports fans aren’t always so rational, though. Really, it makes sense: spending so much money, time, and emotional energy on a game isn’t exactly the most rational thing to do. So there was some concern about how Subban would be received, especially since he’s already booed in an honestly uncomfortably large number of NHL arenas already.

Subban and others can breathe a sigh of relief, though, as while not everyone greeted Subban with open arms in as literal a way as Roman Josi did with their hug on Saturday, the team gave Subban a fantastic welcome back tribute video:

Not only does that video include some of Subban’s great moments during his three seasons with the Predators (that Stanley Cup Final appearance, a Norris Trophy win), it also captures some of the off-the-ice qualities that make Subban so fun and entertaining (and make people sometimes get perplexingly, maybe troublingly mad about him). He got up and decided to sing some Johnny Cash upon arriving in Nashville, was a fantastic charitable presence, and was a lot of fun.

(No Listerine was spilled in the making of the ad, but you can’t have it all.)

Anyway, good on the Predators and their fans for welcoming P.K. back.

As a reminder, Montreal Canadiens fans greeted him with love upon his return, too:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Avs’ rising star Cale Makar shaken by hit from Bruins’ Marchand

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The Colorado Avalanche have done a masterful job, for the most part, when it comes to rolling with injury-related punches to key players such as Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. They have to hope that Saturday didn’t send another such haymaker their way.

Rising star defenseman Cale Makar (who just fell under a point per game on Saturday with 28 in 29 contests) was clearly shaken up by a hard hit by Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

It didn’t seem like a heinous hit by Marchand, although there are some who wonder if it was a bit high.

Either way, Makar’s reaction is troubling. You can see him shake his head multiple times following the hit, which gives the impression that he could have suffered a concussion. That doesn’t guarantee that Makar did, but it’s a situation to watch — and one the Avalanche should absolutely be careful about.

The Avalanche ended up beating the Bruins 4-1 on Saturday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Laila Anderson, bone marrow donor attend Blues game

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If it got a “little dusty” at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Saturday, that’s understandable, because the continued story of Laila Anderson meeting Kenton Felmlee, her bone marrow donor, is sure to make most get a case of heightened allergies.

(Is that a leak from the ceiling? /Sobs)

Anyway, Felmlee was Anderson’s guest during Saturday’s Toronto Maple Leafs – St. Louis Blues game, giving the two another chance to bond, and beyond that, for Anderson to thank Felmlee for helping her in her battle with the rare immune disease HLH.

It’s great stuff, even if the actual Blues game isn’t going so great for St. Louis.

This longer clip from their first meeting earlier this week is worth watching, unless you don’t want people to see you openly weeping’n’stuff:

(Personally, I’d say it’s worth it.)

MORE ON LAILA ANDERSON AND THE BLUES:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Canucks’ Miller scored an awesome water bottle breaker in OT

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Over time, you can become jaded as a sports (and specifically hockey) fan.

Stories about abusive coaches, lockouts, fans booing players for simply no longer being on their teams — it can sap some of the joy of the game.

Thankfully, we have highlights, and I can’t think of many simpler joys than someone scoring a goal and absolutely obliterating the goalie’s water bottle in the process. (As long as no one gets too dehydrated in the making of such films.)

Vancouver Canucks winger J.T. Miller did it one better on Saturday: he scored an important goal that way. Miller presented the ultra-rare OTBBGWG (overtime bottle-breaking game-winning goal) as the Canucks beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-5 in OT.

Bask in the glory of that goal in the video above this post’s headline. Here’s a fun alternate angle:

By the way, Miller continues to be a deadly offensive weapon for the Canucks. This one-goal, one-assist output extended his current point streak to an impressive eight games (5G, 6A for 11 points). Overall, Miller has 31 points in 30 games during his first season in Vancouver.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.