Turris 'excited' to be a Senator
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - The newest Senator smiled as he took a spin around the ice with Jason Spezza before Monday’s practice at the Bell Sensplex.
Set to make his debut in a Senators uniform Tuesday against Buffalo, 22-year-old Kyle Turris felt right at home, anxious to justify the Senators’ trade which sent David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick to Phoenix to grab the former No. 3 selection.
“I’m really excited. I couldn’t wait to start (Monday), meet all the guys and get going (Tuesday),” Turris said. “I don’t think I’ve seen this many cameras for a number of years now.
“It’s a lot different pressure, but I’m ready for it. I’m just going to try to help the team win and contribute. It’s really nice to have a fresh start, talking with (Spezza), skating around with the guys and joking around.”
Skating on a line with Nick Foligno and Erik Condra Tuesday, Turris is going to get a good chance from coach Paul MacLean to play a big role. The Senators were pleased to see their new teammate.
“He’s a guy that’s a got a really elite wrist shot,” said Spezza, who roomed with Turris briefly during the world championship in Quebec City in 2008. “I think he’s going to fit in here nicely on a young team.
“Hopefully, he can find some chemistry with some guys and get the opportunity to play. I think the system that we play is going to be something that suits him. I’m sure he’s excited for a fresh start after what he through this year as well.”
The Senators have been looking for a No. 2 centre and have had their eye on Turris since September. A restricted free agent, Turris held out of Phoenix camp until he accepted a two-year, $2.8-million deal Nov. 22.
He had played only six games for the Coyotes this season and didn’t have any points, but was getting an average of 12 minutes under coach Dave Tippett. The past four months have been difficult.
“It was really tough. It was something that was a frustrating situation,” said Turris, a close friend of Senators prospect defenceman Patrick Wiercioch. “I’m just glad that it’s in the past and we were able to move on.”
The Coyotes refused to make a trade throughout the holdout and told all suitors — including Senators GM Bryan Murray — there would be no deal until Turris signed a deal, reported for camp and played some games in Phoenix.
“There wasn’t much communication between my agent (Kurt) Overhardt and them,” said Turris. “It was a weird situation. I’m glad that’s in the past. I’m just looking forward now.”
MacLean said Turris fills a need.
“He solidifies the second-line centre position that we’ve been searching for,” said MacLean. “Not only for this season, but seasons to come. He’s a piece that makes us better today and for down the road as well.
“We feel that he’s a quality, quality player. The only thing Kyle has established is that he’s an NHL player and NHL talent. What type of player and how good he can be in the league? I don’t think he’s done that yet.”