It doesn’t appear Kyle Turris’ contract standoff with the Phoenix Coyotes will be ending this week and that has given rise to speculation he’ll be dealt, despite GM Don Maloney’s statement to the contrary late last week.
Damien Cox of The Toronto Star recently mused on the possibility of the Maple Leafs turning their sights towards Turris if Matthew Lombardi is unable to start the season because of lingering post-concussion symptoms.
Cox suggested the asking price from the Coyotes would be center Tyler Bozak, whose contract ($1.5 million per season for this year and next) would be a more affordable fit for the cost-conscious club.
Cox was quick to point out, however, there currently isn’t a deal in the works between the two clubs. Still, expect his column to be used by some observers trying to link Turris to the Leafs if his contract standoff drags on.
In the meantime, there’s been little actual news from the Turris camp or Coyotes management on this situation. Last weekend, Turris politely rejected an interview request from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, who was hoping to hear the young center’s side of the story.
Friedman recalled the last time he spoke to Turris was back in December and at the time he appeared happy in Phoenix. Friedman wondered if things had changed between then and now, though he doubted it has anything to do with Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, whom players really like.
The problem for Turris, which Friedman pointed out, is he lacks leverage to achieve his salary demands with a holdout. His performance to date simply doesn’t justify what he’s seeking (rumored to be three years at $4 million per season, or two years at $3 million per), but while he remains a promising talent, that alone won’t get him the kind of money he’s seeking – from the Coyotes or anyone else in the NHL.
RANGERS LOOK FOR INSURANCE
As the New York Rangers continue through the pre-season without defenseman Marc Staal, it’s believed they’re in the market for a depth blueliner in case Staal remains sidelined by post-concussion symptoms when the regular season begins in two weeks.
While there’s been some talk about the Rangers perhaps signing an unrestricted free agent, they may also go the trade route to address their need.
Andrew Gross of NorthJersey.com suggested center Erik Christensen would be used as trade bait. The New York Post recently claimed he wasn’t a lock for one of the remaining forward positions still open on the Rangers.
The Post also claimed agitating left winger Sean Avery wasn’t guaranteed one of those forward spots either, but given his remaining salary ($4 million, but a cap hit just shy of $2 million), limited no-trade clause and reputation, it’s highly unlikely the Blueshirts would find any takers for him.
DREW DOUGHTY STILL AT HOME, FAR AWAY FROM LOS ANGELES
A rumor earlier this week claiming unsigned L.A. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was in Los Angeles meeting with GM Dean Lombardi was quickly scuttled by Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.
She recently tweeted that if Doughty were in Lombardi’s office “he’d have been in an empty room,” as the Kings GM journeyed to Phoenix with the split-squad team on Tuesday and wasn’t in his office on Wednesday.
Doughty hasn’t been anywhere near Los Angeles and instead has been in London, Ont., skating with the Ontario League’s Knights, where he said he’ll stay until the situation is finally resolved; thus far, that doesn’t appear close to happening.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.