From the Ottawa Senators' official site:
For the 23-year-old Turris, the December trade that brought him to Ottawa from the Phoenix Coyotes opened a world of new possibilities. In 49 games with the Senators, he produced 12 goals, 17 assists and 29 points — all National Hockey League career highs. Turris believes the best is yet to come, telling ottawasenators.com late last season that he believes he can be a 30-goal scorer someday.Damn.
Where the hell was I when he said that?
It's hard to believe that I missed that quote at the time, but nevertheless, that's pretty nails.
Although it's a recurring theme at this time of year to hear about (insert player name) feeling like he's in the best shape of his life and how he's ready to translate that off-ice training into a productive NHL season, in Turris' case, I'm not going to be skeptical of his 30-goal aspirations.
Part of my reasoning for that has to do with the fact that for the first time in his NHL career, he truly developed as a player.
When he arrived in Ottawa, we knew that he had some strong pedigree and some offensive tools, but we as fans weren't too sure of what to expect. The offensive results had to be there to justify the price that the organization paid to bring him here, but after a short period of time, it became quite obvious that his two-way game was understated and he had the hockey IQ to succeed at the world's highest level.
Playing on a line with Alfie, the duo's puck possession skills gave Paul MacLean an alternative to play against the opposition's best players, and his presence finally brought some depth and stability to the team's second line center position.
But despite these positive signs, it was evidently transparent that there was quite literally still room for Turris to grow.
The knock on him has always been his strength and size but in light of the reports that he has taken his offseason training quite seriously, the center seems driven to fulfill some of the promise that scouts saw in him when he was drafted third overall in 2007.
Having spent more than two months working with conditioning coach Chris Schwarz at the conclusion of last season, one hopes that this work and tutelage under Schwarz will pay dividends.
At the very least, this news serves as shining light during these bleak days when CBA uncertainty and a potential lockout dominate the conversation.