PHOENIX – Kyle Turris feels like a member of the Phoenix Coyotes again.
The 22-year-old centre skated with his teammates Friday for the first time since ending a two-month contract holdout and re-signing with the Coyotes.
“It’s good to get back on the ice and throw the puck around with the guys and just get comfortable again,” he said afterwards.
Turris was welcomed back by getting thrust into the middle of the team stretch on Friday morning. There were also a couple jokes at his expense.
“That’s just all part of coming back to the team, so that’s fine by me,” he said.
Turris signed a US$2.6-million, two-year deal on Tuesday and passed a physical on Wednesday.
It was the same deal that had been on the table since September, according to general manager Don Maloney. Turris needed to sign a contract by Dec. 1 to play in the NHL this season.
The native of New Westminster, B.C., kept himself fit during the contract dispute by skating five times a week on his own and making regular visits to the gym.
“I feel really good,” he said. “I feel like I’m in really good shape.”
Turris had a career-best 25 points (14-11) in 65 games with the Coyotes last season.
The third overall pick from 2007 is expected to be sent to the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint before suiting up again for Phoenix.
Both Turris and Coyotes are looking to move forward after the contract holdout.
“I felt (the deal) was more than fair based on the performance to date,” Maloney said earlier this week. “I think it’s a good deal for Kyle because everybody wants the huge contract but there’s pressures to go with big contracts. We’ve seen that all over the place.
“Now he can just get back and play and improve his game and become that impactful player that I think he will become.”