The Ottawa Senators have been unwilling to meet Kyle Turris‘ ask for a long-term extension and the two sides are headed for a split. The Senators don’t want to sign the 28-year-old into his mid-30s. A trade is not imminent, but “seems likely” to take place before the trade deadline. Reporters stated: “There has been a fair bit of dialogue between Senators management and the agent who represents Kyle Turris, dating back to early July or late June. Kyle Turris wants to commit long-term to the Ottawa Senators, we’re talking about a seven or eight-year term. So far, the Sens haven’t been willing to do that, so they cannot allow an important piece like Kyle Turris to walk out as an unrestricted free agent. “The issue is, how do you replace him?” Turris is currently the team’s top-line centre, playing between Zack Smith and Mike Hoffman. He was a minus-2 in Thursday’s season opener, logging 22:36 of ice time – the highest among Ottawa forwards and third most on the team. Turris scored a career-high 27 goals and posted 55 points in 78 games with the Senators last season. He scored four goals and added six assists while averaging 21:19 of ice time per contest in 19 playoff games.
Selected third overall in 2007 by the Arizona Coyotes, Turris was traded to the Senators in 2011 for David Rundblad and a second-round pick. He owns 114 goals and 265 points in 396 games since joining the Senators and owns three 20-goal seasons. Turris is entering the final season of a five-year, $17.5 million ($3.5 million AAV) contract extension signed in 2012. According to CapFriendly, the Senators have $59 million in salary committed to the 2018-19 season with Turris, Mark Stone, Cody Ceci, Johnny Oduya, Chris Wideman and Fredrik Claesson all up for new deals.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made another piece of NHL history on Friday when his 45-save performance helped the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in their first regular-season game. Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being taken by Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, made the most saves by a goaltender in an expansion team’s first win (since 1967), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous mark of 37 was set by Hank Bassen of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 13, 1967 and matched by Goran Hogosta of the Quebec Nordiques in a 5-2 win against the Colorado Rockies on Oct. 18, 1979. Forward James Neal scored each of the Golden Knights’ goals in the third period, including the game-winner with 2:44 remaining. According to Elias, Neal is the seventh player to score two or more goals for an expansion franchise in the team’s first NHL game. The only two players to score more than two goals for an expansion franchise in its NHL debut are center Chris Kontos, who scored four for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 7-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 7, 1992, and forward Real Cloutier, who had three for the Nordiques in a 5-3 loss against the Atlanta Flames on Oct. 10, 1979. The victory by the Golden Knights gives expansion teams a 7-16-3 record in their first NHL games, including 3-8-2 in road games.
The Toronto Maple Leafs bolstered their goaltending depth Friday, acquiring netminder Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Tobias Lindberg and a sixth-round draft choice in 2018. Pickard has been assigned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The 25-year-old, who was selected from the Colorado Avalanche by the Golden Knights in June’s expansion draft, had been placed on waivers Thursday and cleared Friday. Had the Leafs claimed Pickard rather than making a deal for him afterward, he would have counted against their 23-man roster and forced another player to be re-assigned. Pickard will enter the fold as insurance for the Leafs as they decide how they want to proceed in net. Starter Frederik Andersen is locked in, and 34-year-old backup Curtis McElhinney is signed through next season, but the Leafs are all too familiar with goaltenders leaving them in a lurch, at both levels.