Turris v Malone: can there be a winner?

We all know the story by now (and I’m sure some of us are getting sick of hearing it): Turris wants out of the desert, and has refused to sign and requested a trade. Malone refuses to trade or give Turris the reported 3 or so million he wants (more likely, just a ridiculous figure proposed to ensure they wouldn’t sign him). So, who is in the wrong and who will come out on top?

As a group II RFA, Kyle Turris must be signed by an NHL club by December 1st, or will not be allowed to play the 2011-2012 season or playoffs. His strategy isn’t a new one, but one that is not seen often. Players that make the NHL (especially lottery picks) don’t often leave the team that drafted them until later in their career. Some are traded, or don’t get resigned, but most decent players stay with a club until they hit unrestricted free agency. By holding out on signing, Turris is essentially trying to subvert a system put in place to ensure a competitive league and keep much of the power over what players stay and go in the hands of GMs.

As a GM in a franchise dying for fans and attention, Malone can’t afford to see a potential rising star leave town (even if he is largely unproven). He has until December 1st to sign his man, otherwise Turris’ season would be lost, along with development time and perhaps even value. Malone has, on separate occasions, explicitly told the media he will not trade Turris.

In a nutshell, a player doesn’t want to sign; an organization doesn’t want to let him go. Whose fault is all of this? Well, firstly, I’d place some blame on the player, Kyle Turris. Like it or not, there are rules and procedures for playing in the NHL. If you want the competition, stardom, and money that come with the job, you have to play by the rules (well, off the ice, at least). It may not be an ideal situation, but players don’t make the rules.

The Coyotes organization is also partly to blame. Not that what Turris did was acceptable, but when it was made clear that the players would not resign, a trade should have happened. By quietly shipping Turris out in the preseason, Malone would have gotten a good return, possibly some respect from players around the league, and would have swept this whole mess under the rug. A major part of being a GM is quality asset management, and Malone may just end up ruining one of his best.

Fact is, Turris is hurting his own development, has alienated the players, the fan, and the organization. His value is dropping, and will plummet dramatically on December 1st if he remains unsigned. Turris may not be in the right, but the right thing to do would be to trade him. He appears to have no future with his present organization.

Thoughts? Will he sign before the deadline or not? What should he get paid? Think he is traded in the end (perhaps after this season)?

Thanks for reading

-JoelLeafs