Derek Stepan’s departure will leave a big hole down the middle for the New York Rangers. Would the team consider trading for Ottawa Senators center Kyle Turris?
While the Rangers used Derek Stepan as a trade chip for picks and a defenseman, it is unknown if J.T. Miller or Mika Zibanejad can assume his role.
At 27 years old, Kyle Turris has already proven he can be a top line centerman. The Rangers made a trade with Ottawa last offseason, and perhaps they should pick up the phone once again.
Who is Kyle Turris?
Kyle Turris was selected in the 2007 NHL entry level draft by the Arizona Coyotes. In 2011, Turris held out for a new contract and eventually requested a trade. In November of 2011, Turris signed a two year, $2.8 million dollar deal with Arizona. That didn’t last long when he was traded to Ottawa about one month later.
Since leaving the Coyotes, Turris has continued to improve his game. His best year was the 2014-2015 season where he registered 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points. This past season, he scored 27 goals and tallied 28 assists for 55 points.
Would the Senators trade Turris?
This begs the questions as to why Ottawa would consider moving a young center who means a lot to their hockey club. Well, they likely don’t want to. However, they may have to.
In 2012, Turris signed a five year, $17.5 million dollar extension with the Senators. Having a talent like Turris with a cap hit of just $3.5 million per year would prove to be tremendous value. As you may have guessed, Turris’ contract with the Senators expires after next season, and he is likely to seek a big pay raise.
When Derek Stepan’s contract expired after the 2014-2015 season, he was rewarded with a six year, $39 million dollar deal that paid him $6.5 million per for production very similar to Turris.
Just two years later, the Rangers traded Stepan and unloaded his big contract to the Coyotes.
The Senators could afford to re-sign Turris but have many expiring contracts next offseason, and a lot of money tied up to other players. Trading Turris would avoid many cap casualties, and give the Senators more cap room to fill needs elsewhere while getting assets in return.
The last thing any team wants to do is let a player walk for nothing. If negotiations with Turris don’t go well next off-season, that is a real possibility. By trading Turris, you at least get a return. For a player like Turris, that return would likely be very good.
Would the Rangers trade for Turris?
As mentioned before, no one knows if the Rangers internal options can step up to fill Stepan’s shoes. If anything else, the Rangers are now thin at center. A trade for Turris isn’t a necessity, but it would possibly elevate the Rangers to one of the top teams in the NHL.
With Stepan and Raanta off the books and Kevin Klein retiring, the Rangers all of a sudden have some cap space to work with.
The Rangers would have no problem trading for Turris and his $3.5 million dollar cap hit this year. However, it would take a nice haul for the Rangers to acquire Turris. What if they can’t sign him next off-season when his contract is up?
While the Rangers have plenty of cap space this offseason, next year, it gets a little tricky. Brady Skjei, J.T. Miller, and Kevin Hayes are all restricted free agents next year, and an integral part of the young core the team has built.
With Brady Skjei likely to get locked into a new deal and both J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes likely to get pay raises as well, a big contract extension for Turris doesn’t seem feasible.
If the Rangers trade for Turris but fail to re-sign him, it’s Eric Staal all over again. The argument can be made that Turris would be a rental, but it’s not a very good argument. Sure, Lundqvist is 35 years old, and his window may be closing, but the Rangers can’t continue to make shortsighted trades unless Turris is a part of the teams future going forward.
Sure, Lundqvist is 35 years old, and his window may be closing, but the Rangers can’t continue to make short-sighted trades unless Turris is a part of the teams future going forward. Jeff Gorton seems to echo that feeling by saying a lot of moves he made this offseason were part of his effort to, “rebuild on the fly.”Turris would make the team better now, but would it work for the Rangers long-term?
Kyle Turris is an intriguing option because of how good he’s been recently in his NHL career. Turris was probably signed to one of the best value contracts in the league and is going to want to get paid.
If the Rangers could get Turris without giving up too much, I’d be all for it. But, I just don’t see that happening. Perhaps Kevin Hayes would be a player of interest. I’m sure teams would love to take a chance on his size and skill set.
However, I still get the feeling Ottawa would want a player like J.T. Miller, Brady Skjei, or Pavel Buchnevich, all players who should remain in blue for many years to come.
While enticing, the Rangers may be best off trading for a potential third line center for a lesser price and let Mike Zibanejad get a crack at the top center spot.