Kyle Turris has been getting plenty of love this season, and rightly so. Most people assumed he'd have a good year considering that Jason Spezza would be back and Kyle would find himself lined up against the second best opponents had to offer. He'd play with newly acquired Clarke MacArthur and hopefully find some of the chemistry he had with former captain Daniel Alfredsson. He would provide the Senators with a true second line scoring threat, something the Senators (and their fans) had been hoping for since the dawn of time.
Well, we all got one thing right: he's having a hell of a year. Turris has put up better than a point per game (18 in 17) and is tied for 3rd in the league in assists. He has 1 less than Sidney Crosby, and 3 less than leader (and former Hart Trophy winner) Henrik Sedin, who has played in 19 games already. He is centring one of the best lines in hockey, as he, Clarke and newly acquired Bobby Ryan have dominated play at times this season.
Kyle's stats closely resemble those of Joe Thornton who has put up 16 points in his first 16 games for the juggernaut San Jose Sharks. The difference being that KT7 has played about 45 seconds more per game, and taken about double the shots. Turris also plays 2:23 per game shorthanded, while Joe plays about 28 seconds.
Oh and one other key difference, Jumbo Joe makes 7 million against the cap this year, and Turris makes half that.
Much has been made about the Senators financial situation, so having such a productive player making such a low cap hit is very helpful. But that deal is incredible.
It got me thinking, is Kyle Turris the best bargain in the league?
CapGeek has this very cool feature called bargain hunter, and so I thought I would look there to see where Turris ranked. I decided that I would exclude any players on entry level deals (who are sure to get big raises in no time) and to exclude veterans who took a one-year deal for dirt, who will get a raise next year. Here is what I found:
|2013 - Logan Couture||16||7||9||16||7||0||3||0||1||56|
The reigning champ on this list would be Logan Couture. Somehow, last year, Couture was talked into signing a two-year deal worth $5.75 million. That means the cap hit for this year for Logan is just $2.875 million. However, this past off-season, Couture signed a 5 year $30 million dollar deal, making him a 6 million dollar man starting next season.
Similar Situation for Colorado's stand-out centre Matt Duchene, who signed a similar two-year deal (his worth $3.5 million per) and who also will be starting a 6 million dollar deal next season.
|2013 - Alexander Steen||15||14||7||21||9||8||4||0||3||49|
Whether you believe it is going to last or not, Alexander Steen is right near the top of the league in scoring, and it seems as though the guy can do no wrong. He's also doing it for roughly $3.2 million this year, which is far below his fellow Rocket Richard hopefuls. Thing is, Steen is in the last year of his deal, making him a UFA this offseason. If he keeps this up, he's gonna get paid.
|2013 - Kyle Okposo||17||5||14||19||7||16||1||0||0||37|
The Islanders (and the league) have been waiting for Kyle Okposo to build on the promise of his first two years in the league. Instead, until this year, he's been largely ineffective. It remains to be seen if he has turned a corner, but if he has, it is a steal for Garth Snow and the Islanders. His contract is $2.8 per year, and he has two years left on his deal after this season.
|2013 - Chris Kunitz||17||8||8||16||12||14||3||0||2||55|
Probably Turris' best competition on this list, Chris Kunitz could have been a UFA when his current $3.75 million contract ends this summer, but instead he was inked to a new three year deal worth a whopping... $3.85 million. A first line winger who scores, can make plays, can go to the dirty areas and play nasty if he wants to, this 2-time cup champion is a pretty fair bargain. Are his numbers inflated by playing with Crosby? No doubt, but there is chemistry there for sure.
So there you have it, the leagues best bargains. I'd say for this year, there are better bargains than Turris, but when you consider that Turris is only 24 and is signed to his deal until he is 28, there aren't many long term deals that look better.