Nashville Predators: What’s the End Result to Kyle Turris’ Resurgence?

Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

A big storyline over the offseason was what should the Nashville Predators do with Kyle Turris. Not sure that question has gotten any clearer.

People are lying if they’re saying they weren’t way down on Turris going into the season. I was one of them after the horrendously unproductive season he has last year. He was very ineffective on the second line, and it went on long scoring droughts that stymied the second line.

Turris has appeared to find new life through the first eight games of this season. He’s already up to six points, including three goals. Three of his six points are on the power play. He’s a big reason the power play looks much better.

Big question I have is this sustainable. Is it fool’s gold? After all, Turris had six points through the first seven games of last season. He didn’t really start falling off the map until mid-November. We can only hope this doesn’t happen again.

What’s looked different from him?

He just looks to be skating better. He’s playing with more energy and aggression. Maybe my eyes are fooling me, but he just looks more confident. As the fourth line center, he’s been trying to bolster up the bottom six. There’s not been room for him with Mikael Granlund lining up on the Duchene line.

When Filip Forsberg is in the lineup, you really can’t put him in the top two lines unless you put him with Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen. Calle Jarnkrok has had that spot lately, and he’s been doing pretty well in that role.

As for Turris, I’ve loved him adding more firepower to the bottom six. Even if that means the Predators are overpaying for a fourth line center. No matter what he makes, you have to put him in the spot in the lineup where the team will benefit the most. With that being said, injuries to any of the top six forwards can thrust Turris into that role, and that’s what makes him valuable.

Turris’ most recent goal came on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers. He skated beautifully through the neutral zone, made  a great stick move to get free and fired a shot past the Florida goaltender. It tied the game and sent it to overtime. Predators came out with a loss in the shootout, but Turris’ aggressive move helped salvage a point in the standings at least.

How does this story end?

I’m thinking Turris plays out the season with the Predators, and gets traded next offseason for some defensive help. Perhaps it could happen before the 2020 NHL trade deadline on February 24th. Either way, I think he’s not going to be in a Predators uniform at this time next year.

With that said, Turris can still bring value to this team while they have him. Obviously the better he plays the more it benefits the team on the ice. But we also have to be thinking trade value here. The Predators need defensive help more than anything. The loss of P.K. Subban, while necessary to get Duchene, has hurt the Predators so far.

There’s a great piece from Kristopher Martel on Fox Sports Tennessee highlighting Turris deserving top-six minutes. My only question is, does that mean moving off Mikael Granlund from the second line, or moving Turris to the top line? Also, if he really thrives there then possibly Nashville could decide to retain his contract past this season. I still don’t see that happening, but that’s just me.

The Predators penalty kill is sitting at 30th in the league. This area used to be a huge strength for the team, and now they’re struggling big time. They need more physicality on the defensive front. Maybe the answer is in Milwaukee to call up a player, but my thought is the Predators are going to have to make a move externally, and Turris will hopefully become much more valuable on this front.

Turris is a class act and how he’s playing early on is admirable. He entered this season with a lot of pressure and criticism. It’s commendable that he’s playing with so much fire and trying to help this team even if his long-term future isn’t tied here anymore.

I can’t see the Predators keeping him past this season with his enormous contract that runs through 2023-24. I believe they want to get out from under it, but only for the right price. Don’t give him up for a haul of young projects and draft picks.

Recap: Predators Drop One in the Shootout to the Panthers. dark. Next

If Turris continues on this efficient start, then his value will definitely rise quickly. There are a lot of teams in the market for a second line center, so Turris needs to keep playing with this fire to benefit both parties involved.