Nashville Predators Grades: Turbulent Season for Kyle Turris

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 17: Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators during the second period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 17, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 17: Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators during the second period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 17, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

You can’t exactly call Kyle Turris‘ tenure with the Nashville Predators a smooth one. It’s been filled with ups and downs, but he did show flashes.

The spotlight was shining bright on Kyle Turris heading into this season for the Nashville Predators. He has a very high skill level and has had a lot of success in the NHL.

It’s just so hard to get over that big contract that he signed to come here in 2018 from the Ottawa Senators. That’s not to the fault of Turris, but his play hasn’t always justified the $6 million per year contract.

So the question is did Turris do enough this season to instill confidence and lessen the criticism of his current contract. I believe the Predators are stuck with him for the foreseeable future, and Turris has to find his place on this roster.

Laviolette’s doghouse

Turris just couldn’t find any level of consistent success while Peter Laviolette was still in charge. For whatever reason, Turris struggled badly and even ended up being a healthy scratch.

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This brought more heat on Laviolette for the decision than it did on Turris. How are you going to put a $6 million player on the bench? It was a controversial and questionable roster decision, and eventually Laviolette was relieved of his duties after the calendar turned to 2020.

Then John Hynes came in as head coach, and the team started gradually changing its identity. There were some predictable bumps associated with this coaching change, but eventually the team was starting to show some modest improvement.

Turris was part of that improvement. He’s been moved all over the lineup this season, so it’s unfair to but all of the blame on him for not being as productive as you’d like to see him be.

Did he do enough?

Coming in at 31 points in 62 games, Turris was on pace to surpass the most games in one season that he’s every played for Nashville. His first season with Nashville he was traded from Ottawa, and appeared in 65 games for Nashville that season.

If Turris played in the final 13 games of this current season perhaps he’d come close to his production of that initial season with Nashville when he produced 42 points and played on a fairly high level.

It was the following season, overshadowed by injury, that Turris’ production dropped off a cliff and put him under the microscope coming into 2019-20.

Turris still has a long way to go before I’m convinced that he’s worth the initial contract. The more realistic and positive ending to all of this is Turris continues to improve his play under Hynes and eventually finds a trade destination.

I’m going to find it very difficult to ever justify the contract that has Turris signed through 2023-24. It’s one of GM David Poile’s worst contracts, and he does way more good ones than bad ones.

Turris did have some highlight moments that you can’t overlook, and he’s always been a top-notch professional full of class and respect. He handled everything in a very professional manner, and for that he deserves a lot of kudos.

Check out this sweet goal from Turris that was the game-winner on February 16th that secured the season sweep of the St.Louis Blues:

This goal is an example of one of those flashes of elite skill that I know Turris has. It’s just not seen enough from him to make me feel like he’s going to play out his full contract in Nashville.

He gets a slightly above average grade because he wasn’t a complete disaster, and there were other factors that he didn’t have control over. Even with that, it’s fair to expect more from the 30-year-old veteran.

Turris shouldn’t be in the same ballpark in terms of goals as the likes of Colton Sissons and Austin Watson. He should be producing more no matter who is head coach.

Nashville Predators. KYLE TURRIS. C+. . C, LW

However, if Turris can make big-time goals like that one against St.Louis more of the norm, then maybe there is a long-term future for him in Nashville. I just didn’t see enough of it this past season to make me feel more confident that this contract by Poile is going to eventually pay off.

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Sorry, but I just don’t see it happening. This season had some glimmers of hope, but not enough to make me compelled to think Turris is every going to be more than what he was in his first season, which was a fringe 40-point scorer.