Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/23/11
GLENDALE, Ariz. Don Maloney was sitting in the coaches' office on Monday in Washington D.C. when he received an email on his phone. It was from Kyle Turris' agent, Kurt Overhardt, informing him that Turris had accepted the Coyotes' two-year contract offer. "It was a little antic-climactic," said Maloney, who was with the team for the final game of their five-game road trip. "I had to think 'What was that two-year offer?'" It was for two years and 2.8 million a far cry from the terms Turris was seeking back in September: a three-year deal worth an average of slightly more than 4 million, or a two-year deal worth an average of slightly more than 3 million. "Kyle took a position. He made a business decision," Maloney said. "We just felt it was important to set a standard for how we operate in Phoenix. We pay people well for performance, but you have to perform to be paid." To review, in 131 NHL games, 128 of which were played over two seasons, Turris has posted 19 goals and 27 assists. And that is why this move was so mind-boggling. Turris had no leverage and he got bad advice from Overhardt, who seemed to think he could force Maloney's hand into a trade to a team with more skill and more available ice time. We still don't know the full reasoning behind Turris' holdout because he postponed his schedule press conference until Friday when he has passed his physical and signed the contract. Overhardt did not return a message left for him Wednesday evening. Whatever the logic, it's clear it didn't work and now Turris must return with his tail tucked between his legs an unhappy man despite the best efforts of the Coyotes to convince us otherwise. More importantly, Turris must work his way back into game-shape, then work his way back into a lineup and locker room that has developed terrific chemistry without him a locker room that may or may not take to a player who didn't like their style. "I think he'll be fine," coach Dave Tippett said. "We've got players who, throughout their career, have understood the business side of it. The players recognize he can come in and help us win. That's what it's all about." Turris was at Jobing.com Arena on Wednesday and one look at him made it clear he hasn't been idle. He's put on weight and muscle. "When I met him I said 'Wow! He looks like a man!'" Maloney said. "How long will it take to get in shape? Time will tell." Turris will skate with the team on Friday, but he is expected to report to the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine, where Maloney said he will practice and play games until he is ready to rejoin the club. He's missed a lot of time and that won't help, but this has widely been viewed as a vital year in his development. He broke out with a goal and two assists in a first-round playoff series loss to Detroit last season. But he needs to show more consistency at the defensive end and better responsibility with the puck at the offensive end. If he can take the step up that players selected around him did players such as Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk he can improve his market value dramatically and the Coyotes may consider a deal around the trade deadline or the draft. But if he becomes the player the Coyotes hoped he would be when they drafted him third overall in 2007, they could also tear up the second year of his deal and sign him to the contract he wanted last summer. That's assuming the relationship is not frayed beyond repair. "Sometime, you kiss and make up and you're family forever," Maloney said. "In some cases, it doesn't work and then you have to make a change. I'm hopeful it will work out."
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