Silver Nuggets: Senators "covet" holdout Kyle Turris

GLENDALE AZ - DECEMBER 29: Kyle Turris #91 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with Mikkel Boedker #89 after Turris scored a second period goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL game at Arena on December 29 2010 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

During intermission of last night's game between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins, TSN's hockey panel released some trade speculation that the Sens are very interested in Phoenix Coyotes holdout restricted free agent centre Kyle Turris. In the words of Bob McKenzie:

"I can tell you, the Ottawa Senators are a team that has significant interest in Kyle Turris. Even though he was an 11-goal scorer, they feel that he has the potential to be a second-line centre who could score 20-plus goals, put some numbers up on the board, and fill what has long been a void on the Ottawa Senators. That he's a better player than he's shown in his limited time and exposure with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"But here's the "but," and it's a big one: The Ottawa Senators ad every team that's interested in Kyle Turris, have been told, in no uncertain terms, by Phoenix general manager Don Maloney that they are not trading an unsigned hockey player. If he's prepared to sign a qualifying offer, or a one- or two-year deal, they will consider seriously his trade request. But they're not going to trade him as long as he's unsigned."

Darren Dreger mentioned that there are six teams at the forefront of the bidding war for Turris: the Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

This development predictably brought great joy to Graeme Nichols of The 6th Sens, who's been downright giddy about the prospect of acquiring Turris since the summer. Nichols goes into great depth exploring what's soured the relationship between Turris and the Coyotes, but that's not what I care most about: I want to know if Turris can become a better NHLer than he's been so far, and, if so, I want to know how much it might take to get him (assuming the Coyotes and Maloney do decide to trade him).

To the first question, Turris has huge potential. I'll look past his ridiculous BCHL numbers (66G, 55A, 121P in 53GP) because it was long ago and it's not the strongest league, but even his pro numbers are pretty good: In 2009-10 with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, Turris put up 24G and 39A in 76GP. Last year with the Coyotes, he scored 11G and 14A in 65GP. He's obviously got some learning to do, but Jason Spezza seems like a pretty good guy to learn from, especially since they both had rough rides getting to the NHL thanks to tough-love coaches.

What might it take to acquire Turris? Probably a lot. We'd be looking at some package that could include mid- to high-level prospects, maybe some decent draft picks (lottery-protected first-rounder or a second-rounder), and maybe even current roster players.

Ottawa does have assets to trade, but do they have enough to win the Turris sweepstakes? And what would acquiring Turris mean for the likes of Stéphane Da Costa, Peter Regin, and Mika Zibanejad?

Links after the jump.

Senators headlines:

  • Recaps of last night's 5-3 loss to the Bruins: Silver Seven | Stanley Cup of Chowder | Citizen | Sun
  • Paul MacLean is trying to get Brian Lee back into the Sens' lineup, but had been reticent to change the defence pairings while the team was winning. (Citizen)
  • Erik Karlsson will keep trying to grow a moustache no matter how ridiculous it looks. I think he's likely motivated to do so by that same confidence that lets him lead the rush and make such outstanding plays on the ice. (Sun)
  • Milks talks about the punishment the Bruins inflicted on the Senators' defencemen last night, and mentions that it's the kind of game in which Jared Cowen can play his best. (Black Aces)
  • Binghamton Senators head coach Kurt Kleinendorst wants the B-Sens to show a bit more intensity and physicality on the ice. (Press & Sun Bulletin)
  • Sort of Senators related, because it deals with pro sports in Ottawa and Binghamton: Are the Binghamton Mets moving to Ottawa? (OpenFile Ottawa)


NHL headlines:


Finally, a video of Jared Cowen hiding his excitement about scoring his first NHL goal exceptionally well:

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