In the case of Kyle Turris, his next door got blown wide open on Sunday evening when he was dealt to the Nashville Predators as part of a blockbuster three-team trade.
As this season got underway, Turris could see the writing on the wall that his time in Ottawa would come to an end. With free agency looming and negotiations with the Senators ongoing, he didn’t see the commitment he wanted from the Senators.
“To be honest, a six-year deal was never put on the table in negotiations with Ottawa,” Turris said via conference call. “It was just something that it was very apparent that things weren’t going to work out in Ottawa.”
When the possibility of a trade came up, it was time to look at the potential destinations. Nashville was at the top of the list, which made his six-year extension with the Predators a no-brainer.
“My wife and I had talked about places that were possibilities and we we’re really excited about the idea of Nashville,” he said. “There’s so many great things about the city. The people there, the neighborhoods, the school systems, and obviously, the franchise is in such a great place, coming from the success last year and so much success to come. The people in it are great people. Right away, Nashville we felt like would be a great fit. That part of it was an easy decision.”
Turris isn’t the first player growing apart from an Eastern Conference team to end up in Nashville via trade. Ryan Johansen made it clear that he wasn’t happy with his situation with the Columbus Blue Jackets before he was traded to Nashville in 2016. Of course, Turris’ situation was primarily about his contract, whereas Johansen’s was about his playing time on the ice. But, once again, general manager David Poile found a way to get a talented center on his way out of an Eastern Conference team.
From the Predators’ perspective, they also got a huge boost from this trade. While they had to give up some valuable assets in Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev, they got another bonafide top six center for the foreseeable future.
“This deal would not have happened if we weren’t able to sign Kyle Turris to a six-year contract,” Poile said. “When you couple that with the signings that we’ve had with the majority of our core forwards in the last two seasons, including Ryan Johansen,Viktor Arvidsson, Calle Jarnkrok, Filip Forsberg, Nick Bonino, the majority of our core forwards are under contract for at least the next three seasons, and a few of them beyond that.”
As Poile noted in his press conference, the Predators have long-sought talented top six centers. They got their coveted number-one center in Ryan Johansen nearly two years ago. With Turris behind him, and Bonino, Jarnkrok, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau following close behind them, there’s never been a better time to be a center with the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps most important, however, is the fact that the Predators did not break their juggernaut defensive corps to get Turris. P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis all remain with the Predators. According to Poile, that might not have been the case if they wanted Matt Duchene, who ended up going to Ottawa as part of the trade.
“It’s no secret that we talked with Colorado for a long long time about Duchene, and you see what they had to give up to get Duchene, so you can draw your own conclusions,” he said. “Again, I would be less than honest to say our top four defensemen’s names didn’t come up in this deal or any deal that I ever talk about.”
“The point being is that to get Turris and to give up futures and retain our top four defensemen I think is very significant and I think is huge to what we can do this year and hopefully in the next few years with the core of our team being pretty well-signed. I thought that was really really important that we didn’t give up one of our top four defensemen, or our first-round pick for that matter.”
In the short-term, Turris needs to go through the immigration process to get himself to Nashville. While he didn’t know if he would make it for tomorrow’s game in Columbus, he hopes to be in the lineup when the Predators take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.