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Off the Ice: Kyle Turris’ impact on the domino effect

Dominoes are fun.

I remember, as a kid, pushing them all over to watch them fall in a neat little line, the momentary chaos making all the hard work of placing each one just right completely worth the trouble. Into my adult years, I still enjoy a sweet YouTube clip of a domino setup, but not when it comes to the Phoenix Coyotes.

When again discussing Turris — I fondly call him names that are not acceptable for print — with some Twitter followers, @PamYotesFan and @CoyotesFan79 and myself stumbled on the idea of Turris’ trade request being the start of a domino effect, where players anxious to leave the uncertain Coyotes refuse to play unless they’re paid an exorbitant sum or traded.

While this is a scary thought, the domino effect already began during the off-season. Ilya Bryzgalov’s enormous salary demands designed to get him moved away from Phoenix showed the Coyotes are willing to at least attempt to cash in on a want-away player. Add in a lot of top players (see Ed Jovanovski, Vernon Fiddler) choosing to leave during free agency, and the continuing lack of an owner, and the Coyotes domino chain has already been tipped and is well into its sequence. But Turris is a unique case.

A young forward not fitting in to a team or wanting to start anew is not unfamiliar in hockey. In fact, it’s almost expected for a kid to move around a few times before finding a fit. Having gone through the Coyotes organization as a first round pick, Turris was expected to explode on to the NHL scene, much like fellow draftee Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, Turris looked mediocre on the ice and has only posted 46 points in 131 games. Most young forwards would be assigned to improve their game or sign for a lower salary based on their performance, but not Turris. He wants to be paid based on his potential.

The Coyotes are stuck. Do they risk letting some young punk who is crying for money boss them around or do they keep his whiny butt off the ice? Turris has until Dec. 1 to sign a deal or miss playing in the NHL this season. His restricted free agent status means that the Coyotes can match any official offer to keep him on the team. If he gets his money way, the Coyotes could see more players asking for salaries above their value. If Turris is allowed to leave, the Coyotes show a weakness that could end in other players forcing their way out.

I see one very simple solution. Trade the guy.

If numerous reports are correct, many NHL teams have approached the Coyotes about a trade for Turris and are offering inflated values. With one signature, the Coyotes could likely gain coveted assets and get rid of a locker room poison. Sure, they risk a domino effect of players trying to push their way out, but, on a team consisting mainly of team players and workhorses, that is unlikely. They know their value and, while they may push for a raise, won’t refuse ice time in an attempt to force money out of a team that just doesn’t have it. Plus, the longer Turris sits out, the lower his trade value goes. If he misses this season, he’s not going to be worth as much and then this whole scenario will be all for naught.

In short, risk the domino effect. Drop the whiny little kid outside someone else’s doorstep. Let him try to get his money from some other sucker and get value out of him while you still can.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Off the Ice” is a new portion of
ArizonaSports.com where Carter Nacke will be covering and
discussing the Phoenix Coyotes throughout the season.
While the page is under construction, you can contact him
at cnacke@arizonasports.com, tweet him at @carternacke or follow the blog’s twitter feed at @OfftheIce620. Thanks for reading.


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