Nashville Predators: Grading Kyle Turris’ Forgettable 2018-19 Season

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 13: Kyle Turris #8 talks with Yannick Weber #7 of the Nashville Predators prior to a face-off against the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena on December 13, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 13: Kyle Turris #8 talks with Yannick Weber #7 of the Nashville Predators prior to a face-off against the Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena on December 13, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In a forgettable season for the Nashville Predators, Kyle Turris is now possibly on the trading block. Let’s give him his season grade.

Speculations are swirling around the Nashville Predators’ offseason as they figure out how to improve their roster and avoid a first-round playoff exit again. That means possibly letting current players go who aren’t really working out, and Kyle Turris is the first player that comes to mind. His season left a lot to be desired, to put it mildly. You can say that about the entire team, with the exception of a handful of players.

Turris falls into the category of players you want gone because they’re not living up to the lucrative contract. The honeymoon period usually doesn’t last very long in sports. Turris had a good start with the Predators, but it has dramatically tailed off since then. It leaves a tough decision to be made for GM David Poile. Give him another chance to turn it around, or try to find a team willing to take on his mammoth contract?

Career lows

As for last season, Turris managed just 23 points, his lowest output since the 2010-11 season with the Coyotes. That’s 23 points in 55 games played. Not a good return on investment, to say the least. He missed nearly a month of playing time spanning over November and December after taking a hard hit in a loss to the Blues. Once he returned to the lineup in late December, he never really looked the same. He certainly never came close to living up to his current contract, which he just finished the first of a six-year deal.

Turris’ stat line from last season is full of career-lows, or close to it. His seven goals is the lowest of his entire career, even lower than any of his totals in his early days with Phoenix when he played a similar amount of games. Even in 2011-12 he was able to tally up 12 goals in the same amount of games played. Another alarming offensive number that was near a career-low was his shooting percentage of just nine percent. That equals his lowest percentage since his first season with Ottawa in 2011.

The Predators were plagued by taking untimely and undisciplined penalties all season, and Turris didn’t help that cause. He took 33 penalty minutes, a number that’s way too high from a guy that’s supposed to be your second line center and generate offense. You have certain guys you can live with sitting in the penalty box, but not your center on the second line.

I leaned on the injury excuse for quite a while with Turris. I tried to remain patient and wait for him to return to how he looked when he first joined the Predators. a player who made smart passes and gave the Predators depth behind their top line. Instead, we never saw that from him. Turris managed just one goal after returning from his second trip to the injury list. That’s a 25-game span with just one goal. It’s not just a lack of scoring, but also a lack of getting other players involved as he tallied just four assists over that same span. His postseason woes also continued with two points in six games.

Where to go from here?

I’m hoping against hope that there’s a team that is willing to take Turris from the Predators. A team that needs him more than the Predators and is trying to build around some veterans. That’s going to be a tall order with his large contract and recent regression. However, we see players start fresh in other places all the time and revitalize their careers. I could see that happening with Turris, and in return free up the Nashville Predators to make some offseason moves and move on from this experiment.

We have to ask ourselves if last season was just a blimp on the radar for Turris. Can he return to being a 20-goal scorer? You can’t emphatically say “no he can’t”. Turris has made a nice career for himself, mainly with Ottawa. I unfortunately don’t see him as the right fit for the Predators anymore. We can chalk this deal up as one that didn’t pan out, and let’s just cut our losses.

If the Nashville Predators do keep him on board, it’s time for his role to be relegated. I don’t see him remaining a second-line center. This is the biggest hole the Predators have on their current roster going into next season. It’s why their major players in the free agent market for the services of Matt Duchene, or someone else. Other potential second-line centers that are currently on the team are Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons and Brian Boyle. I’m not sure all three of those guys will be retained into next season, but I would take all of them over Turris as centers on the second line.

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To round this up, the Turris experiment is over. Sometimes you miss badly on deals, and this was a bad miss by GM David Poile. We don’t have to say that very often. I’m not going to give Turris a failing grade just due to the fact that he was injured for a large chunk of the season, which definitely affected him getting into a rhythm. However, he didn’t come close to living up to his contract or what’s expected of him on the second line. He gets a D for what is likely his last season with the Nashville Predators.