Off the Ice: Calling out Kyle Turris
The Phoenix Coyotes finally signed holdout center Kyle Turris on Wednesday and the organization couldn't be happier, by all appearances.
"We're all excited to have him back," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said of Turris on Wednesday.
At least Tip seems to be approaching the situation cautiously.
"We'll see where he is at," said head coach Dave Tippett on Wednesday. "When you miss training camp and a couple months of the season, that's a bug chunk, so we'll see where he is at."
I, however, am going to take some convincing.
I can see the potential Turris has, but after last season, I'm wondering if he has what it takes to reach it. He posted a mediocre 25 points in 65 games and, at times, looked like a pee wee player skating amongst pros. I'll give some of that to his age and overall inexperience, but not enough to excuse him. He's a professional hockey player and is expected to perform.
According to Turris -- or at least his agent -- he has earned his keep and wanted it to come at an insane price. His rumored contract demands of $2 million-plus per season simply wasn't going to happen. He may have been in the same draft class as Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, but you don't get Kane money until you lead your team to a Stanley Cup.
But despite my objections to Turris, the Coyotes signed him and I expect to see him skate for them, barring any trade possibilities. So going forward, this is my message to Turris:
Prove that you deserved your contract.
You need to demonstrate why you asked for so much, why you held out for so long and why you can be a worthwhile contributor to a team that does not put an emphasis on offense.
You need to prove to your teammates why money was bigger than putting your time in to become a better player. You need to prove to your coach why he should even consider placing you in a lineup that has been on a tear as of late. You need to demonstrate to the management staff why they waited on you for months.
But the biggest thing is proving to the fans why they should have your back. When it was announced that you had signed during the first intermission Wednesday, the news was met with lackluster cheering and more than a few scattered boos.
You have some work to do, kid. Good luck. For your sake, the Coyotes sake and general manager Don Maloney's sake, I hope you prove yourself and make me eat my words.