Sens acquire Kyle Turris

The Senators have acquired centre Kyle Turris, 22, from the Phoenix Coyotes. (REUTERS/Dan...

The Senators have acquired centre Kyle Turris, 22, from the Phoenix Coyotes. (REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

Kyle Turris finally got his wish to get out of the desert.

Just as the Senators were wrapping up a quiet, one-hour workout Saturday, GM Bryan Murray sent a shock through the dressing room by dealing defenceman David Rundblad and a second-round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for the 22-year-old Turris.

After ending a training camp holdout by signing a two-year, $2.8-million deal with the Coyotes on Nov. 22, Turris, who asked for a trade in the summer and never lifted that demand, was granted his wish for a fresh start.

He'll get the chance to play the role of second-line centre behind Jason Spezza.

Turris couldn't have been more thrilled speaking on a conference call with reporters late Saturday after packing up his stuff at the rink.

"This is just something that I'm really excited about," said Turris. "A fresh start, joining the Senators, and helping the team out. It's really exciting to move on and put the past behind me. Phoenix is a good team. I just didn't really fit."

Turris' numbers -- only 46 points in 137 NHL games -- don't appear impressive. But he's going to get more playing time in Ottawa than he did in Phoenix and he fits the mould of what Murray is trying to do here.

This is a move the Senators have been trying to make since camp. Assistant GM Tim Murray and director of player personnel Pierre Dorion both like what Turris brings to the team. They believe he's got plenty of upside.

"We hope (he's going to be) a real good second-line centre that's going to come in here and play really hard," said Bryan Murray. "We believe that he's a very talented young man, that given the type of team we have, and the age of our core guys now, that he will be a nice addition to our forward group."

Murray said giving up Rundblad was the price the Senators had to pay to get the deal done. Sources say the Coyotes initially wanted a first-round pick, but the Senators refused and sweetened the pot by putting in Rundblad.

That's because the Senators were likely going to send Rundblad, acquired from the St. Louis Blues at the 2010 NHL draft in exchange for the No. 16 selection, to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton Monday.

"To get a top six forward you definitely have to pay for it," said Murray. "We like David Rundblad and we think that three years down the road, in our situation, he would have been a really good fit, possibly as early as next year.

"At the moment, (Erik) Karlsson and (Jared) Cowen, and a couple of the young guys that are playing well on our farm team, plus with the puck-moving veterans in (Sergei) Gonchar and (Filip) Kuba, Rundblad was going to get shuffled aside and in all likelihood for the balance of the year."

Turris said he was given a heads up by the Coyotes that something could happen.

"I think there was an understanding on both sides that we wanted to move forward and move on ... it was definitely made clear," Turris said. "I had known the last couple of days. I didn't know the exact date or where, but I was given the heads up that something could possibly happen soon."

Rundblad was caught off-guard.

"It was kind of like a shock to me," Rundblad told the Arizona Republic. "I didn't know anything about it, so it was kind of surprising, but I know I can't do anything about it so I'll just go there and play as good as I can."

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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