Predators: Kyle Turris Seems to be Regressing Backwards Again

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) /

Kyle Turris for the Nashville Predators has just one point since October 22nd. Is he fearfully regressing to back to last season?

We were all excited about how Kyle Turris opened up the season for the Nashville Predators, having seven points in his first nine games and looking like his old self. Since then he’s been kept quiet and not had much of an impact.

Turris hasn’t been getting shots on net either in recent games. He has just five shots on goal in his last six games, while the Predators have lost four of those six games. He’s a very critical piece this lineup having depth scoring and contributions.

It’s not all on Turris. You can argue he’s being misused by coaches. His average ice time is over three minutes lower than his career average of 17 minutes, so a dip in production can somewhat be explained by that.

Now the question that’s been on our minds for a while now is what to do with Turris. What’s the best option for the Predators has they need help on defense badly? Perhaps Turris has done enough in the early going to raise his market value, but we can’t afford for him to do another disappearing act.

What to do with Turris

While the Predators still have him, I think his best spot on the roster is the second line. I didn’t feel that way going into the season, but I’ve had a change of heart. This is due mainly to Mikael Granlund‘s struggling more so than Turris. I have my doubts in both, but Turris is the better option to be playing alongside Duchene.

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This is a very important roster decision to make. Duchene is a player who tends to make everyone around him better, but that hasn’t been the case with Granlund. For Turris, I think the best move is giving him an extended amount of time on the second line with Duchene to see if chemistry can be built between the two.

I haven’t been a fan of the constant shuffling of the lines. Some of it has been unavoidable due to Filip Forsberg‘s injury, but the team is at full strength now. It’s time to find a constant lineup and give it time to grow. I love the idea of Forsberg, Turris and Duchene playing on the second line together.

The Predators need to give Turris those second line minutes and see if he can return to how he was playing to open up the season. See if he can start becoming a bigger factor in the offense. He either responds well to it and raises his trade value, or he continues to slide backwards and give the Predators a reason to move on from his mammoth contract.

Turris won’t be here long-term

It’s obviously important to get the most out of Turris while the Predators have him, but I don’t see him sticking around past this season. The trade deadline is still over three months away, and hopefully Turris can maximize his value between now and then.

When I’m thinking about the Predators’ chances to go deep in the postseason, I believe they’re missing a big piece defensively. Turris could be that missing link for another team who maybe has a defenseman that could help the Predators when the postseason rolls around.

The Predators have an abundance of forward depth, and also have some intriguing pieces in the AHL pipeline. Most notably Daniel Carr. He deserves another shot on the Predators roster, but he’s not the only one. Yakov Trenin is also playing very well for Milwaukee and could fit nicely into the bottom six as he continues to develop.

Turris is expendable if it means getting some help defensively. It’s the more pressing need. The Predators will remain a top offensive team without Turris, but their defense is leaky and inconsistent. They need blueline help desperately.

It’s hard to predict who could be a trade partner for Turris without being in a team’s front office. You can speculate all you want, but honestly it’s a tough thing to predict. However, a name that really stands out is Trevor Van Riemsdyk of the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent in 2020 and might be ready to move on if Carolina isn’t willing to pony up a hefty contract.

It’s all about keeping this Stanley Cup window open as long as possible. The Predators don’t have many more seasons left with so many team-friendly deals. They need to maximize their chances for this year’s playoff run, and Turris is the most valuable piece that’s expendable.

The Predators would have to package something more than just Turris to get the 28-year-old Van Riemsdyk, who would certainly bolster Nashville’s defense. There’s other names out there, but Van Riemsdyk is my top prize. We obviously need Turris to keep increasing his value, which he’s not doing in this current scoring drought.

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Best case scenario out of this Turris situation is he finds a spark soon and boosts up Nashville’s second line, something Granlund has failed at doing. If he does that, hopefully the Predators can find a trade partner who needs big help at the center position and can offer a defensive veteran to boost the Predators’ playoff hopes for the short-term.