With the start to the 2017-18 season just days away, the Ottawa Senators are looking to take care of their biggest 2018 off-season concern before the puck drops on the new campaign. According to Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Senators GM Pierre Dorion is making slow but steady progress in negotiations with impending free agent center Kyle Turris. With starting goalie Craig Anderson recently re-upped, the focus is now on getting Turris, a centerpiece of the Sens’ offense, re-signed, preferably in the coming days.
A career that got off to a rough start with the Phoenix Coyotes, Turris has since blossomed into the player that he was expected to be when drafted third overall in 2007, following a trade to the Senators in 2011. Now an alternate captain for Ottawa and the top line center most nights, Turris has become one of the top players in the nation’s capital. Turris has 55+ points in three of the past four seasons and leads all Senators forwards in points over the past five years.
Come next summer (or sooner), Turris is going to be rewarded for this success. He has one season remaining at a team-friendly $4MM, but Garrioch reports that his side is seeking a long-term deal worth at least 50% more. Will Turris get seven or eight years at $6MM from the Senators? Garrioch states that the sides were far apart on those numbers in talks this summer, but have slowly been making progress. If Ottawa doesn’t give him that deal, it is likely that someone will on the open market. However, Turris been a free agent in this summer’s stagnant market, it would have been a near certainty, but in 2018 Turris will face competition from John Tavares, Paul Stastny, Rick Nash, Evander Kane, James Neal, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Mikael Backlund, and Cam Atkinson among other forwards commanding free agent dollars. The best – and safest – fit for both sides appears to be an extension. Watch for a deal to get done sooner rather than later.