December 21, 2011

Welcome To the Big Show - Kyle Turris

That was the opening line to many nights of Sportscenter back in the 1990s and I think it fits here as well.
Tonight Kyle Turris will make his debut for the Ottawa Senators as they welcome in the Buffalo Sabres to ScotiaBank Place.

Turris was the third overall pick in 2007 entry draft behind Patrick Kane and James Van Riemsdyk. Originally drafted from the Burnaby Express of the BCHL, Turris decided to play a year at the University of Wisconsin under Coach Mike Eaves, where he was roughly a point a game player.  After one season in Madison, The Yotes and Turris decided he should get the call up to the big club….So let me get this straight, Kyle goes from playing Junior A, 35 games at Wisconsin to smack dab in the middle of the NHL.

Turris played three games in the 07-08 season and recorded his first points. The 2009 season he recorded eight goals and 12 assists in 63 games. With this result the next year he was sent to San Antonio for the majority of the season and finished with 63 points in the AHL.

Beginning in 2010, hopes were high for him to have a breakout season in the desert, the Yotes had just come off a successful  107 point season, that saw a hard-fought but series loss to the Red Wings, however the more important fact, Jobing.Com Arena was packed and Coyotes fans were rabid(remember the snakes)
Well Turris disappointed with only 25 points in 63 games, not exactly what you would expect out of a 3rd overall pick.

Then the holdout began and all hell broke loose.

Turris became a restricted free agent on July 1st and the two sides could not come to an agreement which then led to reports of Turris asking for between 3-4 million dollars year and that’s where things really got bad. Since clearly his production isn’t comparable to that salary. Knowing the financial constraints of the team, as it was and still is owned by the NHL it looked like it was more of a ploy to get traded.

November 22, 2011 came and Turris signed a two year deal worth 2.8 million, keep in mind he had to sign by December 1st or he couldn’t play until next season.

Last Saturday, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Defenseman prospect David Rundblad and a 2nd round draft pick. Initially I was shocked by this coup by Ottawa. Then I was shocked because the Senators gave up on Rundblad (6 NHL Games) so fast and added a 2nd rounder to boot. This weekend I was very perplexed, how I really felt about the trade.

The more I thought about it, this is an awesome hockey trade, Turris will now be a face, but not The face of a Canadian franchise. He was asked a very young age to be the savior of hockey in the desert, which only added to the pressure of being brought up from Wisconsin to the NHL in only a matter of days. Turris now has the opportunity to thrive in a market that is hockey crazy, he can now fit in with a young and frankly overachieving team even though their record may not show it. Along with really young Guys like Erik Karlsson, Kaspar Daugavins, Nick Foligno, Colin Greening, Jared Cowen and led by 28 year old Jason Spezza,and 18 year old Mika Zibanejad still in Sweden,  Ottawa is not lacking young talent. I have a very good feeling that Turris will fit perfectly in that room and just be another piece of the young core.
He wanted out of Phoenix and he got his wish. But now he will be under arguably the 3rd hottest spotlight in the NHL. He won’t have to be the face of the franchise, but he will experience a media crunch overwhelming larger than Phoenix.

Will Kyle Turris continue to mature and become an 80-100 point guy or will he continue to underperform and fade into obscurity? Regardless of what happens he no longer will fly under the radar.

Joe DeTolve
Chicago, Illinois

No comments:

Post a Comment