Kyle Turris ended his contract holdout by signing a two-year deal this week. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Kyle Turris hasn't even been under contract with the Phoenix Coyotes for a week and already there's rampant speculation over how long he'll be part of their roster.
It began within minutes of the Coyotes officially announcing Turris was ending his holdout by signing a two-year, $2.8-million deal. The speculation popped up with the anticipation that, since the young center is finally under contract, GM Don Maloney has a better opportunity to get a good return.
TSN analyst Darren Dreger reported Turris' preference was to “encourage trade” by holding out, but couldn't play the waiting game any longer. He added there was some offer-sheet interest in Turris, but a deal failed to materialize.
Bob McKenzie claimed the Ottawa Senators were among the teams with “lots of interest” in Turris, while Pierre LeBrun cited the Calgary Flames as another. Dreger added the Toronto Maple Leafs into the mix, but like the other clubs, they want to see how well he plays before making an offer.
Turris is expected to be sent to the Coyotes farm team in Portland for a conditioning stint.
But in pondering about Turris’ future with the Coyotes, not every pundit believes he will be traded.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch acknowledged the Senators, Leafs, Flames, Vancouver Canucks, NY Islanders and St. Louis Blues all had interest in Turris, but cited a league executive who doubted the 22-year-old would be moved.
Garrioch believes if - “and it's a big if” - Maloney shops Turris he'll want young assets in return.
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, meanwhile, took to Twitter to claim Turris “still wants out,” adding the uninformative qualifier that a trade could happen “in 24 hours, three months, or not at all.”
In other words, your guess over Turris' future with the Coyotes is as good as any expert’s.
PARISE MEETS WITH AGENTS
The expectation New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise will head for greener pastures via free agency next summer continued this week, with Mark Everson of the New York Post interpreting Parise's recent meetings with his representatives as preparation for his inevitable departure.
Everson cites several factors, including the Devils’ current financial woes, the club's failure to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs during Parise's tenure, uncertainty over his left wing role with Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup, and “Newark is Newark. It's not Florida, nor California, nor even his Minnesota home.”
GM Lou Lamoriello may end up shopping Parise at the trade deadline, but Everson doubts that will happen, as Lamoriello won’t want to scuttle the season.
Parise claimed he was merely touching base with his agents at the meeting, while Lamoriello maintained both sides have a desire to get a new contract done before Parise’s unrestricted free agency kicks in July 1.
It doesn't matter how often Parise claims he wants to remain a Devil, or how often Lamoriello says he wants to re-sign him. Until a new contract is officially announced, the expectation Parise will depart via free agency in July will persist.
GAGNER CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner isn't having a memorable start to this season.
He's been hampered by a nagging ankle sprain suffered back in training camp and was knocked down to the third line because of rookie center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ strong debut.
Gagner acknowledged he’s heard his name in trade rumors. The Oilers blueline has been ravaged by injury and there's talk he’ll be dealt for a defenseman.
Gagner, already in his fifth NHL season at 22 years of age, said he's comfortable in Edmonton and doesn't want to leave.
An improved performance in the coming weeks would help ensure he remains an Oiler, but if the team’s defensive woes threaten their playoff chances, it could also enhance his trade value.
Rumor Focus appears Tuesdays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla's Korner.