Kyle Turris says Senators owner Melnyk paved his road out of Ottawa
'I think management did want to sign me, but I think that the owner didn't'
Kyle Turris believes Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is the reason he's no longer in the nation's capital.
Speaking before Nashville's 7-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, the Predators centre reflected on his time with the Senators that ended with a three-team trade last month.
"It's tough because I think management did want to sign me, but I think that the owner didn't," Turris said following Nashville's morning skate. "And that was his decision."
Turris, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, was shipped to the Predators in a deal that saw the Senators get centre Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 5.
Ottawa and Nashville have gone in opposite directions since the trade. The Senators won their first two games with Duchene in the lineup, but are just 2-10-2 since — the worst record in the NHL over that span — to tumble down the Eastern Conference standings.
The Predators, meanwhile, are 12-2-2, with Turris contributing three goals and 11 assists in 15 games to sit third in the West and fourth overall.
Duchene has two goals and three assists in 16 games for Ottawa, which had lost five in a row prior to Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion disputed Turris' version of events prior to the game.
"Everything hockey goes through me, not through Mr. Melnyk," Dorion told reporters in Ottawa. "We made a decision here, obviously we talked about it when we made the trade. We wish Kyle the best of luck, he's a great human being.
"The contract that he signed with them he wouldn't take with us. It's as simple as that. Pierre Dorion makes hockey decisions. I get great support from Mr. Melnyk, but Pierre Dorion makes hockey decisions."
Turris' comments come at time when the future of Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson has made fans uneasy after the superstar defenceman said recently he won't take a hometown discount when his current contract runs out after the 2018-19 season.
"He's a god there," said Turris, who signed a six-year US$36-million extension with Nashville after the trade. "He's such a good player all around. Defensively, offensively he is the heart of that team. He's a great leader, he's a great person.
"He's somebody an organization like Ottawa can't lose."
Turris, who helped the Senators get to within one shot of making the Stanley Cup final last spring, said he keeps tabs on his old team and is confident they'll be able to turn things around.
"With the success you had the year before, everybody's giving you a bit more respect and playing you a bit harder," he said. "They'll figure it out. Over the course of the season they'll bounce back."