OTTAWA - The Senators can likely shut the door on acquiring Kyle Turris.
While the Senators are among five or six teams — including Calgary, Vancouver and Columbus — that have shown interest in the Phoenix Coyotes centre, it would appear the restricted free agent’s chances of getting dealt by are slim.
Speaking to Hockey Night in Canada before the third period of a 4-2 victory over Edmonton Saturday, Coyotes GM Don Maloney threw water on the fire Turris’ camp is trying to create. The GM says the 22-year-old won’t be dealt.
“Under no circumstances whatsoever — and I’m not sure what language I have to (use). We will not trade Kyle Turris this season,” said Maloney. “We want him back and if he wants to play in the NHL, he’ll sign with us.”
Turris hasn’t changed his demands for $3.2-$4 million from Phoenix and his agent Kurt Overhardt has confirmed the youngster wants to be dealt. If Turris is traded, it’s believed his demands would shift to $2 million per season.
Senators GM Bryan Murray talked to the Coyotes about Turris. But Maloney has never shifted off his stance that he won’t give into the demands from the club’s top pick from 2007.
“It’s a business decision,” said Maloney. “We like Kyle, we want him back. The door is open. We want to run our business a certain way. Hopefully, he’ll come back to us.”
Turris has until Dec. 1 to sign in Phoenix or he won’t be able to play in the league this season.
The Senators are going to have to rely on 24-year-old centre Stephane Da Costa to come around and get the job done. Or Murray may have to go out and find a No. 2 centre.
Top centre Jason Spezza, off to a terrific start, has been held scoreless in four games. Maybe that’s related to the team’s three-game losing skid. If opponents can shut Spezza down, they’ve got a good chance of having success.
Da Costa has only three goals and an assist in 15 games. Zack Smith, who is supposed to anchor the third line, has been terrific lately, with two goals and five assists.
A league executive said Sunday the market for centres is thin. A team like Ottawa could be forced to overpay for what may not be an upgrade.
The Oilers might look to move Sam Gagner with Ales Hemsky inching closer to a return. The Isles have a decision to make on upcoming unrestricted free-agent centre Frans Nielsen, while the Canucks were offering up Cody Hodgson, but have pulled him off the market.
Once defenceman Matt Carkner is healthy, the Senators will have eight blueliners and the club wouldn’t mind peddling one of those contracts. Sources say there hasn’t been any interest in the excess defencemen.
Veteran Filip Kuba is the prime candidate because he’s a UFA on July 1.