As little leverage as the Phoenix Coyotes have with Kyle Turris and as contentious as the negotiations have become, it's clear that general manager Don Maloney isn't about to give up the holdout center to the Calgary Flames or the Ottawa Senators without a fight.
Or, more likely, a "Godfather" offer.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported on Sunday that talks between Turris and the Coyotes have broken down to the point that the 22-year-old Group II free agent, who feels disrespected by the organization, will only sign if he is traded within 48 hours of the agreement to a team of his choosing.
As you might imagine, the Coyotes haven't taken to kindly to this rather unusual set of circumstances and, as such, wouldn't necessarily be so inclined to play along with the kid's demands as a result. After all, Phoenix still controls Turris' rights and could very well force him to sit out a full year if he doesn't sign by December 1st.
Then again, a talented young player of Turris' caliber could bring quite a bit back to the Coyotes, who are off to a surprisingly solid start to the 2011-12 NHL season but could certainly use some help to maintain that success over the long haul.
There have been plenty of interested suitors for Turris thus far, chief among them the Flames and the Sens. According to the Calgary Herald, Flames GM Jay Feaster has been in contact with Maloney and has yet to make any sort of progress:
"I've had conversations with Don Maloney since training camp. Don's been very, very clear with me and I think with other teams that they have no intention of trading him. And Don has also told me they're prepared to match any offer sheet."
Both teams are in need of a new centre or two—the Flames for a legitimate No. 1 and the Sens for a solid No. 2, pending the play of 24-year-old Stephane Da Costa going forward.
The problem, other than Maloney's unwillingness to let go of Turris, is that the kid has yet to deliver fully on the considerable promise that made him the No. 3 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. Turris has shown flashes of brilliance, but not enough to justify the $3 to $4 million per season he wants from Phoenix, not after logging just 25 points in 65 games last season.
The question then is are either the Flames or the Sens willing to make offers that Maloney simply cannot refuse for a player who has yet to prove that he is worth such consideration?
The answer, it would seem, is no. Neither team, at this point, is desperate enough so early in the season to mortgage its roster for one promising player, even though both are already off to subpar starts as currently constituted.
In that case, it will likely come down to whether Turris plays in Phoenix or sits out the season, thereby cutting off his own nose to spite his face.
Or so the saying goes.