Unsigned Coyote might be an option for Leafs
On the surface a moderately-sized, non-physical centre without a lengthy resume of NHL success wouldn’t be a player at the top of the Maple Leafs’ wish list.
And right now,Kyle Turris, unsigned and persona non grata in the Phoenix Coyotes camp isn’t a player Brian Burke is desperately trying to land.
Burke, you see, has great hopes that Matthew Lombardi will be both healthy by the start of the NHL regular season and capable of delivering speed and some numbers from the third-line centre position.
Every team has a best-case scenario at this time of year, and for the Leafs that includes James Reimer picking up where he left off last season and an improved depth chart up the middle with Tim Connolly on the top unit, Mikhail Grabovski centring the No. 2 line, Lombardi in the three-hole and Tyler Bozak set to be a fourth-liner after being a first-liner last season.
Best-case scenarios, of course, have a way of evaporating. For the Leafs it’s really not at all certain whether Lombardi, still not cleared for contact, will indeed be ready for the start of the season or able to shake off his lengthy concussion history to play anything close to a full season.
If it becomes evident in the next little while he can’t, the Leafs may get very interested in the 22-year-old Turris and in a hurry.