Turris calls report a “mischaracterization” of his time in Finland

The backlash against Kyle Turris for his negative comments about road trips in Finland and the boredom of life in northern Scandinavia is far worse than anything he actually experienced there, says the Ottawa Senators centre.

Turris, speaking publicly Thursday for the first time since a Globe and Mail story quoted him as disparaging his experience playing for Karpat in Finland’s top professional league, was in damage control mode. He insists the report was “a mischaracterization” of his two month stay.

“I read it for the first time and I was extremely upset,” Turris said after skating with fellow NHLers and university players. “It put a very negative characterization on my experience in Oulu. It was a great experience. I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to go. It was lots of fun. I talked to lots of guys and my roommate Jason Demers was a great guy.

“I learned a lot and like I said, I would go back.”

In the Globe report, Turris labelled the travel as “horrendous” and described the food as “awful”, including stopping “beside the highway for a buffet truck stop pregame meal.”

Turris does acknowledge that life in Finland wasn’t perfect. In a Citizen article last week, he said that there was an adjustment period and that he had suffered some homesickness. However, he says the Globe story omitted many of the positives.

“There were places where I didn’t like to eat and there were places that I loved,” he said Thursday. “It was dark, but that’s the way it is there. I enjoyed it. You find ways to adapt and that’s what I did.”

Immediately after reading the Globe story, he contacted Karpat owner Harry Harkimo, who was justifiably upset about the comments. Turris had originally returned to Ottawa following a positive conversation with Harkimo.

“We kept in touch and still do and he knew it wasn’t how I feel.”

If the lockout isn’t settled and the NHL season is cancelled, Turris says it’s possible he could return to Finland.

KONOPKA RETURNS: Former Senators centre Zenon Konopka joined the action at Carleton University Tuesday. After the skate, he praised the NHLPA leadership group for all its hard work throughout the prolonged lockout.

Konopka, who signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Wild as a free agent in the summer, says he’s trying to make the most of the break by helping coach in and around his home town of Niagara-On-The-Lake.

“The guys have been joking with me,” he said. “I’ve always been on a one-year contract, The One Year Wonder, and I finally get two years, and if we don’t get things moving, it might be one year again. The key word for the whole season is frustration, but you’ve got to have hope.”

 

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