Turris ready to move forward after Coyotes clash

Kyle Turris probably didn’t need a reminder about the increased pressure that comes with playing in a Canadian hockey market, but he got one Monday morning nonetheless.

Turris ready to move forward after Coyotes clash
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Kyle Turris probably didn’t need a reminder about the increased pressure that comes with playing in a Canadian hockey market, but he got one Monday morning nonetheless.

“I don’t think I’ve seen this many cameras for a number of years now,” Turris, who has spent much of the past three years in NHL outpost Phoenix, told a media crush around his locker at Scotiabank Place following practice. “It’s a lot different pressure, but I’m ready for it and I’m really excited to get started.”

Turris skated with the Ottawa Senators for the first time Monday since being acquired from the Coyotes for defence prospect David Rundblad and a second round pick over the weekend.

He arrives in the capital surrounded by question marks, many of them to do with his ugly divorce from the desert dogs.

The young centre has missed most of the season after holding out during contract negotiations this summer and autumn in an effort to force the Coyotes to deal him, something they did after making him sit out as long as they could. Turris has only played six games since finally inking a deal with the ‘Yotes, and hasn’t registered a point since.

For his part, Turris said he was ready to look forward, not back.

“It was real tough” Turris said. “I mean, it’s something that was a frustrating situation and I’m just glad it’s in the past and moved on.”

There was obviously a disconnect in Phoenix between Turris and coach Dave Tippett, something the young centre acknowledged.

He said “things just didn’t work out” there after the team moved on from former coach Wayne Gretzky.

As for the new group in Ottawa?

“It’s a real fun atmosphere. They’ve got a great mix of the older guys — Spezza and Alfredsson — and at the same time a real young group, so it was a fun practice this morning, guys joking around and lots of energy and I’m looking forward to jumping in.”

Turris isn’t starting from scratch with his new teammates. He roomed with Jason Spezza at the world championships and prospect Patrick Wiercioch — currently out of the Binghamton Senators’ lineup after taking a puck in the throat — is one of his best friends from childhood.

“We grew up from when we were eight or nine years old, playing together, and we’ve kind of always just been together,” Turris explained. “He’s a great kid and an extremely talented hockey player.

“I actually called him after I found out about the trade, and he’s been going through a tough time the last week and a half, two weeks, and I’ve been talking to him every day. But he’s recovering fast and I told him how excited I was to be in the same organization as him.”

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More news and notes from Senators practice Monday:

— Centre Jason Spezza was named the NHL’s first star of the week after scoring eight points in three games.

— If everything goes according to plan, injured defencemen Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba will be joining Turris in the Ottawa lineup against the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday.

— Milan Michalek’s concussion situation hasn’t changed. He’s exercising off-ice, but isn’t ready to return yet.

— Craig Anderson will get the start in goal.

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