The negotiations were “healthy,” as Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion described, but while the team and the camp of Kyle Turris agreed on dollars, the term was a sticking point in trying to agree on an extension.
Turris was seeking the maximum term possible in eight years, but Dorion wasn’t too keen on investing in the player for that long.
“When it came to the contract negotiation, we just felt that there wasn’t going to be a lot of movement from 7-8 years,” Dorion said Monday morning. “Six years was never put on the table. At the same time, we’re OK with that.”
Turris confirmed during a conference call that six years wasn’t discussed at all by either side. “It was very apparent that things weren’t going to work out in Ottawa,” he said.
Six years, $36 million was what Turris ended up signing for after the three-way trade with the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators was completed on Sunday. When Predators GM David Poile was asked about any hesitance inking a 28-year-old to a long deal like that, he said they felt comfortable with the length.
Turris only had a few hours to process and agree to a contract with the Predators, so after talking it over with his wife they agreed that Nashville would be a good fit.
“We’ve heard so many great things about the city, the people there, the neighborhoods, the school systems and obviously, the franchise is in such a great place,” he said.
The biggest deal of the young NHL season wouldn’t have been consummated, however, if Turris didn’t sign that extension. Poile said he started talking with Turris’s agent after the three teams agreed to the trade, and that the whole thing wouldn’t have gone through unless he had the center’s signature on a contract.
Turris, who likely won’t debut with his new team until the weekend, was in the final months of a five-year deal he signed with the Senators in 2012. Poile said that after the dust settled during free agency over the summer and he saw how the 2018 unrestricted free agent center market was shaping up, that’s when Turris jumped onto their radar.
This move strengthens the Predators down the middle adding Turris to a group that features Ryan Johansen, Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok. Depending on how head coach Peter Laviolette sets it up, Bonino could move to a top-six wing spot, according to Poile.