DETROIT - Ticking away is the Kyle Turris clock.
The Phoenix Coyotes centre wants to be traded, and if he is going to play in the NHL this year, the restricted free agent has to sign a contract with somebody by Dec. 1.
At the moment, the Coyotes are the only team with which that can take place unless another organization dives into offer-sheet territory.
Logic suggests this will all change.
The longer the game plays out, the stronger the Coyotes’ position becomes — both in the potential trade market and in sending the message right before the league and players’ association begin talks over a new collective bargaining agreement.
We know Turris wants to play, but with a fresh start after bouncing between the NHL and the American Hockey League with the Coyotes.
We know the Coyotes want to make a statement that they’re not open to being bullied by a 22-year-old who has yet to prove he’s a prime-time NHLer just because he’s unhappy with the way he’s being developed.
If the third-overall draft pick from the 2007 NHL Entry Draft had been selected by the Calgary Flames, he may well have been brought along as slowly.
But the Flames reportedly want him now.
Question is, what will it take to pry him away from the steadfast Coyotes?
If we learned anything from the Carson Palmer situation in the National Football League this season, it’s that the price will be much more steep than if the team was trying to trade away the prospect on their own terms. The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback asked for a trade, refusing to play for the club that groomed him any longer. After a lengthy standoff, the Bengals finally dealt Palmer, but only after the Oakland Raiders gave them an offer they simply couldn’t refuse — a pair of first-round draft picks.
Steep, for sure.
And Turris will command a fairly dramatic return as well, simply because of his potential. While it’s true he posted just 11 goals and 25 points last season in 65 games with the Coyotes, the 6-foot-1, 185-lb. centre from New Westminster, B.C., has proven at other levels he can be a dynamic offensive weapon.
From the Burnaby Express in the BCHL, where he scored 66 goals and 121 points in just 53 games during his draft year, to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, where he put in 24 goals and earned 63 points in 76 games two years ago, his talents have come to the forefront.
For a team like the Flames, with an average age of 29 second only to the Detroit Red Wings’ 30, a youth movement is on the horizon.
So the addition of a potential top-line talent in Turris is extremely attractive.
If (perhaps when) the Coyotes cave and get what they can for the kid, the Flames will be in the running. The Yotes have plenty of cap room, but it’s tough to justify a team being run by the league spending any higher than their current US$53-plus-million.
Draft picks and prospects make the most sense.
In that regard, the Flames don’t have a lot to offer. They are without a second-round pick this season, and giving up a first-rounder isn’t a popular option.
Could a third-rounder and prospect like defenceman T.J. Brodie get a deal done?
Only the Coyotes know for sure, and they aren’t about to tip their hand while trying to maximize a return.
What might pry C Kyle Turris from the Phoenix Coyotes?
Possible trade scenarios
• 2012 1st-round pick, conditional mid-round selection
• G Joni Ortio and a 2013 2nd-round pick
• RW Rene Bourque and a 2012 4th-round pick
• D T.J. Brodie and RW Patrick Holland and a 3rd-round pick
• D T.J. Brodie and LW Greg Nemisz and a 4th-round pick
• RW Rene Bourque and D T.J. Brodie for Turris and LW Boyd Gordon