Author of the article:

David Staples  •  Edmonton Journal

Publishing date:

Oct 09, 2020  •   •  6 minute read

The Edmonton Oilers' Kris Russell (4) battles the Nashville Predators' Kyle Turris (8) during first period NHL action at Rogers Place in Edmonton Thursday March 1, 2018. Photo by David Bloom
The Edmonton Oilers’ Kris Russell (4) battles the Nashville Predators’ Kyle Turris (8) during first period NHL action at Rogers Place in Edmonton Thursday March 1, 2018. Photo by David Bloom Photo by David_Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

Article content

The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent forward Kyle Turris to a two year deal for $1.65 million per year.

In others news, TSN’s Bob McKenzie now reports that the Oilers are “out” on signing free agent goalie Jacob Markstrom.

And NHL insider John Shannon: “Oilers definitely out of bidding on Markstrom.”

And from Jack Michaels of the Oilers, news of Edmonton signing some AHL quality players: “The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with goaltender Anton Forsberg and forward Alan Quine, as well as a two-year, two-way deal with Seth Griffith.”

My take

  1. The Oilers needed a third line centre. They now have one in Turris, who as recently as the summer of 2018 was seen as a No. 1 centre in the NHL. His fortunes have crashed since then, so much so that Nashville just bought out the final four years of his contract. The Preds will pay Turris $2 million a year for the next eight years in the buy-out.
  2. TSN’s Bob McKenzie said Turris never seemed to find his way in Nashville. In the last two seasons, Turris has scored. 1.51 pts per 60, which has him ranked 288th out of 533 NHL forwards who have played at least 20 games.
  3. On the Predators blog Pred Lines, the buy-out of Turris was applauded: “(Nashville GM) David Poile messed up bad by signing Turris to the original contract, but he’s at least trying to minimize the damage with this move. Bringing Turris back for another season just didn’t make sense anymore… It’s fair to say that Turris never got a fair shake in Nashville. He was thrown into a bad situation from the start, and was constantly moved all over the lineup. Chemistry was never built, and now both sides appear to be parting ways.”
  4. On TSN, commentator Jeff O’Neill blasted Turris. “The way Kyle Turris played last year, he was eager to sign anywhere. He was terrible in Nashville last year so for the Edmonton Oilers to take a chance, his game has to elevate so many levels for him to be an NHL player again, because he was invisible last year in Nashville. I’ve seen him play quality hockey in Ottawa. He’s a good player. He skates. He makes play. But it just wasn’t there in Nashville.”
  5. TSN’s Craig Button said Turris simply didn’t mesh with Nashville coach Peter Laviolette. “The coach plays a specific style of game. He wants uptempo. He wants fast. He wants you on your toes. He wants you going all the time. That’s not Kyle Turris’s game… That’s right where the conflict was and I think that’s why Kyle Turris wasn’t able to play as well in Nashville as he did in Ottawa. If you go back to the World Championships where Kyle Turris played, he was really good, and I think going to Edmonton, I think it’s a terrific signing. Because Kyle Turris played for Dave Tippett earlier on in his career, and Dave Tippett’s style as a coach is to be cerebral, think the game, use your speed when you need to, slow down when it’s necessary, and I think it fits perfectly for Kyle Turris because of the way Dave Tippett is going to utilize him… I see this as an absolute perfect fit.”
  6. TSN’s Ray Ferraro agreed with Button that the fit wasn’t right for Turris in Nashville. “It kind of all tumbled on top of Turris and he was at some points out of the line-up, a healthy scratch. Kyle is really smart. His game isn’t his feet. His game is his head and his hands and he can shoot the puck. I think playing in minutes that will be softer minutes behind Draisaitl and McDavid fits really well. You’re looking at an Edmonton team that doesn’t have a whole lot of cash to spend, so they need something of impact at a reasonable price from their Bottom 6. Right now it’s those two lines scores, the top two lines, or nobody scores for Edmonton. And Turris can, and I think will be, an excellent fit behind Draisaitl and McDavid in Edmonton.”
  7. Back in October 2017 when Nashville traded for and signed Turris to a six-year, $36 million contract that will begin next season, Poile said: “Kyle is one of the best two-way centers in the National Hockey League He should be a great fit in our locker room and will bolster our lineup and give us the depth that’s necessary during the regular season and the playoffs. He is someone who can play in all situations and will help us tremendously on both ends of the ice. He will give our coaching staff a number of options in terms of offensive production and defensive responsibilities.”

Here are how Oilers fans and bloggers reacted:

Oilers Nation blogger zach laing @zjlaing
This is interesting. My preference would be Koivu as 3C, but Turris wouldn’t be a terrible option at all.

CHED broadcaster Reid Wilkins @ReidWilkins
Heard from a couple of guys who have played against Turris. Summary: Good player, good person, needs to simplify his game sometimes. Low risk signing, playing behind 97 and 29 could get him going.

Oilers commentator Bob Stauffer @Bob_Stauffer
EDM gets a skilled right shot Center.
1.65M x 2 years as per @FriedgeHNIC
Kyle Turris has 4 x 50+ point seasons.
Looking to bounce back.
Played for Dave Tippett in Arizona

Edmonton Journal writer Jim Matheson @jimmathesonnhl
Oilers had to get centre who shoots right with only Haas in that boat before Turris signing

Cult of Hockey writer Kurt Leavins @KurtLeavins
I know lots of folks wondered about Koivu in Edmonton, me included. But when I checked around last night, there did not seem to be any fire where that smoke may have been. Foot speed perhaps a concern.

Oilers fan  @AdnacOil
Kyle Turris was very good in Ottawa and was horrible in Nashville. He’ll provide some depth offense, good on the PP, maybe Edmonton is a better fit? Not a lot of risk in this signing

Sportsnet commentator Mark Spector @SportsnetSpec
Kyle Turris at $1.65 as 3C is a sound signing.
A 31 YO player at a later chapter in his career, takes on a role he is suited for. Still has skills to trade pucks with elite players, but not counted on as a top producer.
Tippett wanted him. Had him in ARI.

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