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Maloney hopeful things will work out with Turris

by Jerry Brown
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Phoenix general manager Don Maloney was sitting in the coach's office in Washington before the Coyotes-Capitals game Monday night when an email address flashed across his screen for the first time in about three weeks.

It was Kurt Overhardt, the agent for longtime Coyotes holdout Kyle Turris. And the email itself held a surprise as well. Turris was now willing to accept the two-year, $2.8 million contract that Maloney had been dangling so long that he even forgot the details.

And just like that, a three-month holdout in which Maloney said his center "could stay home and watch 'Oprah'" disintegrated and Turris will remain a Coyote – for at least the foreseeable future.

"I hadn't heard a peep for close to three weeks … and then I get an email saying they accepted the two-year offer," Maloney said. "It was a little anti-climactic. I had to think, 'What was that two-year offer?'"

Turris was at Arena Wednesday to watch his team take on Anaheim, but he and Overhardt opted not to meet with the media on Wednesday. They will delay that meeting until Friday's morning skate, citing the need to first pass a physical examination.

Turris will skate with the team before accepting a conditioning stint at AHL Portland. How long he stays will be determined by his progress.

Maloney said he never entertained Turris' demands of a two-year deal for more than $6 million of a three-year deal worth more than $12 million but the negotiations between the two sides never got to a point of no return. But now that Turris is under contract he changed his "we're not trading Kyle Turris" stance, he wouldn't hesitate to move him if the right offer came along.

"I felt our offers were very fair," he said. "All in all this was never personal. I wasn't trying to be hard-line and fine him daily or squeeze him. Kyle is an important guy, a core piece of our future and we're happy to have him back. He'll be treated like any other player and if there's something better out there for us … he's no different than anybody other than Shane Doan.

"Time will tell. If he plays great, his market value will be through the roof. If he plays poorly, then it won't be. Right now, he's a very hard player to deal."

In the end, the saga ended the way Maloney had planned.

"Kyle was frustrated. He felt like he needed a fresh start," he said. "But I didn't think (the demand) was real. I thought at the end of the day, he'd come around. In hindsight, if I'd known it was to this extent, maybe we would have something in May and June or at the draft, typically that's when deals get done."

Now the question is how Turris – who has skipped preseason workouts, training camp and a fourth of the regular season – fit back into in a Phoenix dressing room that prides itself on being tight-knit? Will he play the top-six minutes he craves? Will he be paired with the skill players he reportedly wanted as dance partners?

"He's come back with the attitude that I'm back here to play and I'm back to help the Coyotes win and I'm satisfied that's how he feels," Maloney said. "You look at holdouts in other sports – some kiss and make up and you're family forever, and sometimes it doesn't work and you have to make a change. I'm hopeful that it will work out."
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