Kyle Turris’ NHL life didn’t exactly get off to a rip-roaring start. Maybe it was the expectations that came with being a third overall pick in 2007 that had him believing he was owed opportunity and success, or maybe he didn’t feel that way at all and things just unfolded the wrong way for the kid, but by the time his entry-level deal expired with the Coyotes, he was becoming a thorn in the side for the organization.

As recently as the 2010-11 season he still found himself playing the odd game in the AHL, and the ‘Yotes weren’t over the moon about his 46 points in 140 games their presumed offensive stud had put up. Here’s how Wikipedia describes how things played out at the start of the 2011-12 NHL season, when Turris held out:

With Turris absent from Phoenix’s training camp, ESPN reported in September 2011 that Turris had requested a US$3–4 million salary. His demands caused speculation in the media that he wanted to be traded from the team.[8] By late-October, a month into the season, Turris’ agent, Kurt Overhardt, confirmed that the player had requested a trade, asserting that contract negotiations had “never been about money”.[9] Turris agreed to a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Coyotes on November 22, 2011.[10]

Turris wasn’t happy, Turris wanted out, and after getting him signed, the Coyotes were more than happy to oblige. He got his way, and has since signed a five-year 17.5 million dollar extension with the Ottawa Senators.

Well, during the lockout, Kyle Turris was among a large group of players who decided to try playing some puck overseas. He didn’t really “decide” as much as the place he was skating at was running out of players because they were all heading over, so his agent found him a deal in Karpat (Finland) to play in the SM-Liga. He apparently gave the place a quick google, agreed, and headed over.

He’s since arrived back in Canada after a two month stint in Scandinavia, and on December 13th he gave an interview to Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, in which he said all the right things:

“Oulu was awesome. The organization was great. They treated us really well. I was lucky to be put into a position where I was playing 20 minutes a game. It’s a great league, really competitive. Any team can win on any given night. It was fun and a great experience.”

He added:

There’s a few quotes in the article about food that imply he wasn’t a huge fan of it, which is understandable – it was all new to him. But when he did an interview with Jordan Winnett of the Globe and Mail, he was a touch more honest about his time overseas. You’ll note that his thoughts on his experience seem considerably less filtered.

Here’s a few choice quotes from Winnett’s column (which was taken down yesterday, but re-posted today). On the lifestyle:

“There’s nothing to do here. Nothing,” Turris said recently while playing in Oulu. “If we’re not at the rink, we’re sitting around playing video games.”

For perspective, on the day of the interview the sun rose in Oulu just after 10 a.m. and quickly set shortly after 2 p.m. On top of the four hours of sunlight, it was also minus-20 C.

“I’m going stir crazy over here.”

On the travel:

“The travel here is horrendous. It’s worse than junior,” he said. “We’ll fly into Helsinki then hop in a bus for four to six hours, meanwhile, we’ll make three stops on a six-hour bus trip for no reason. It’s awful.”

On the food:

“The food here is awful,” he explained. “On the road, we eat at truck stops. ABC truck stops. I’m not kidding. We file out of the bus and head off beside the highway for a buffet truck stop pregame meal. It’s ridiculous.”

Notice how specific the last two quotes are. As in, they’d be really tough to up and fabricate.

And finally, on dealing with the media:

“It’s so awkward. They don’t understand anything that you’re saying, staring at you confused,” he said. “I feel like a complete idiot, trying to use hand signals to help communicate.”

That part’s only natural. I’m sure Malkin and every other non-English speaker felt that way when first coming to North America.

Obviously, the folks with the Karpat organization didn’t much care for being torn down. According to Finnish journalist Matias Stroyzk (via Puck Daddy), here’s what the team’s head coach Hannu Aravirta had to say about the comments:

“They were like a slap in the face. The fact here is that we don’t have private planes to fly with. … Maybe he doesn’t understand our reality. We don’t have any five-star restaurants en route to Pori.”

He’s upset, but also seems to confirm the complaints Turris made.

It was then reported that (by@ilarisavone) that Turris was expected to release a statement of sorts today, because hey jerkface, don’t say mean things about our team, y’know?

Welp! Backpedal backpedal backpedal, herrrre’s Turris!

To Whom It May Concern,

I read an article in the Globe and Mail today regarding my experience in Oulu. It made me extremely upset that it was so negative, and that it had very inaccurate and untrue information. I really enjoyed my time in Oulu, and those who are around me know that. I want to make clear that the sole reason I left is because of personal reasons that required me to be home with my family. The entire Oulu organization treated me very well, and I feel terrible that people may now feel that I was not grateful to be a part of the organization. I know that I was very lucky to play for such an awesome organization that welcomed me with open arms and treated us very well. Everyone I met in Finland, the coaches, management, fans and people of Oulu were all very nice and made my time there a memorable one. I was also lucky to have great teammates, with whom I have made good friendships. For all this I am very thankful and wish the Karpat organization great success in the future.

Sincerely,

Kyle

“…very inaccurate and untrue information.”

So ten billion words in, here’s my point: fuck you, Kyle Turris. More specifically, fuck that backpedal and fuck placing the blame on the Globe and Mail. (A similar thing happened recently when Gary Bettman claimed Daily News reporter Frank Seravelli “made upwhat he had been hearing about Ed Snider earlier in the lockout.) But seriously, Kyle. That’s brutal.

More on that in a second, but first, here’s what Turris’ agent Kurt Overhardt said in a phone interview Tuesday about the Globe’s column:

“The Globe & Mail article completely misrepresented Kyle’s experience in Finland,” said his agent, Kurt Overhardt, who called the article “erroneous” in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“He has nothing but positive things to say about the team, and the way they treated him.”

Get. Lost. With this image management bullshit. Why the extreme level of damage control here? It’s not like he stole a baby or something.

So what if Kyle Turris had a shitty time? Lots of guys do when they join new teams, especially in foreign places. I say he was being a bit too honest, he’s 23 and he didn’t filter himself appropriately – it happens. He doesn’t need to point the blame gun at Jordan Winnett and pass the buck. Total cop out. The implication there, then, is that Winnett did an interview with Turris, and just made shit up when he wrote the piece. Do Turris and his agent realize what a huge accusation that is to level at a journalist?

He’s a young guy who seems to have some mild entitlement issues. This can be a learning experience. He could’ve said “I spoke carelessly, and I’m genuinely appreciative of the opportunity they gave me, but hey – it just wasn’t for me over there. I apologize for the way I put it, but again: wasn’t my style.” We could respect that. There are plenty of people in North America who are like “different power outlets over there? THAT DOESN’T WORK FOR ME.”

Now, I respect him even less because he’s put himself on par with the people who tweet something over the line then claim they had their account hacked when they clearly didn’t. It’s piling on the problem – I said something dumb, then lied about it. In Turris’ case, it’s “I said something dumb, lied about it, then threw someone else under the bus.”

So, bullshit, Kyle Turris. You don’t have to like every place you play, which you clearly don’t. And it’s sorta normal to look out for numero uno as much as possible. But don’t piss on people and tell them it’s raining. You’re making a mess of a minor issue.

Comments (40)

  1. As a 24 year old working schmuck, I must say, what’s wrong with playing video games when you’re not at the rink? I mean, this is basically my lifestyle, except I work 8 hours a day in between. Sure, it’s not -20 outside, but shit, it doesn’t sound like that bad of a lifestyle.

    The food issue, that’s probably a legit gripe. How effective can you be when you’re pregame meal consist of caribou and sweedish meatballs?

    • I wish you could edit these things, or I took the time to proofread. *your and consists, obviously.

    • caribou and sweedish meatball meal of viking lord

    • Hey, Swedish meatballs are amazing.

    • Caribou is delicious. I’d rather eat that than Olive Garden over and over again on a roady.

      Food aside, Turris is a little bitch. “There’s nothing to do here but play video games, the language barrier is really hard” Fucking grab a Rosetta Stone dude, learn some Finnish and then go see what the locals do to keep themselves entertained. It’s not that hard.

      • Turris is a good ole farm boy from British Columbia, of course he’s going to be a little out of his element. His idea of a good time is probably drinking a molson in the parking lot of a Timmy Hortons. Out in Finland, they’re probably too busy building igloos or something like that.

        Plus, have you tried learning Finnish? Scandinavians talk funny, and for a guy planning to only be there for a cup of coffee until the lockout is over, it doesn’t make much sense to devout tons of time to the language.

        • Umm, unless there’s a piece of his bio I’m unaware of, he’s a Vancouver suburb.

          Learning enough of the local language to get around town only seems like common sense to me. Besides, it’s Finland, English is spoken by a large majority of their citizens.

          He’s not exactly in Lapland either:

          http://oulu.ouka.fi/english/index.asp

          • I think you’re taking me a wee bit too seriously.

            And you sort of made my point for me; if everyone speaks english, why learn finnish, then? It seems to me to be more of a cultural difference that bothered him. It’s not unusual to be homesick or feel out of place when you move to a different country. I don’t blame him for feeling the way he did, is just my point.

            It is crappy, though, that he is trying to throw someone under the bus.

        • I feel that I have to chip in, as I am a Finn living in Canada. I just lol! Are you sure Turris is Canadian? He seems SO soft… Not used to long distances, the cold, the dark during the winter… HAHAHA!
          There are tons of things to do in Finland: go to pubs, concerts of all kinds, movies, meet women, drink etc. In Finland it is actually legal to drink in public and Finns do like to drink and party! Maybe he was not popular enough to get invited to parties.
          And the food at ABC is WAY better and healthier than food at restaurants by Canadian highways!

          P.S. Finns don’t build igloos. No Inuits in Finland. But there are Inuits in Canada so go find igloos there;)

          • Finnuits! Scandinavian igloos dotting the tundra!

            Actually, I thought that yurts were the big thing there. Super cool. Yurts and H.I.M.

  2. Now we all know for sure what we suspected when he forced trade to Ottawa.
    To sum it up, Kyle is a dick.

  3. Wow, get a life Bourne. You mad because Turris actually did something with his career? Jealously at its best, and a classless article.

    • Nice try Kyle Turris

    • Bourne’s done more with journalism than Turris has with hockey.

      • Making it to the NHL isn’t a big deal anymore I guess.

        • That’s something Turris accomplished as an amateur. In his “career,” the guy’s been dead weight who still lives off where he was picked in a draft several years ago.

        • Sure it’s cool and all, but that doesn’t give anyone a pass for being a complete tool. Seriously, the guy thought that Finland was like Kelowna or something? Being a pro athlete shouldn’t remove the obligation to be decent to other people here and there, especially when the other people in question were good to him.

    • Well that was a dumb comment

  4. Don’t care about his initial comments (culture shock being what it is and all, that’s between him and the team if there’s any fallout).

    The backpedaling, though, is a serious issue. I mean isn’t he basically accusing the Winnett of libel? And isn’t he in fact committing libel (or I would it be slander?) if he’s lying about the situation himself? I guess you’d have to prove damage in either case though.

    For the record, I’m not one to assume that any journalist is above fabricating anything (because hey, human), nor am I one to assume any athlete is above outright lying to save face (because hey, dumb kid and again human). But to do say it so directly seems like it’s a rather serious issue one way or the other.

  5. What the F is his agent thinking here? Turis clearly is a snot-nosed little prick, but his agent is supposed to be a professional, and should know that you can’t simply throw a reporter und the bus because you don’t like what he wrote. Dumb kid, bad advice.

  6. I take the backpedal from Turris as a big F-u to the reporter. The second article gives a big spin in everything that he says. As a journalist, that is his right to make quotes fit a story he wants. The first article gives almost the same quotes while presenting the information that puts Turris and Finland in a better light. I can see Turris being pissed off that his feelings and motives got twisted again after getting so much bad press last year. So when this article came out, his agent and most likely himself probably had enough and wanted to take it out on the writer.

  7. Throwing the reporter under the bus is definitely the bigger issue than his whining, so I’m surprised to see journalist fanboys on twitter trying to defend him as “classy”. (worst word in hockey, jfc.)

    I’m also pretty grossed out that the G&M pulled the column after Turris kicked up a fuss. Are you a newspaper or a member of the NHL press corps?

    • They apparently pulled it just to change it to make clear that Turris had left FInland – there were some tense issues. It’s back up.

      • I know, but does it really take 12+ hours to change tense issues? It all just looks like back peddling on top of back peddling.

        • Editor takes it down, gives to author to fix; author fixes, gives back to editor for approval. Editor reposts. 12 hours is not unreasonable.

  8. FYI: most North Americans don’t know this, but Finland isn’t actually part of Scandinavia. Those countries include Denmark, Norway, & Sweden, & are grouped together because of shared language/cultural background. Finland (& Finnish) is quite different, and can be grouped together with Scandinavian countries & Iceland under the broader term “Nordic countries.”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavia

    • Yep. Also, the Finnish language is completely different from Scandinavian languages, they’re not even close. Scandinavian languages are much, much closer to English then they are to Finnish.

    • I wish this comment could be required reading for all hockey bloggers.

  9. https://twitter.com/TuomasTarkki/status/281363453246050305/photo/1/large

    I think has not been that big deal in Finland. In above link one of the goalies in the league is commenting on the eating part of Kyle’s words.

    It is not like this has happened before. Geoff Sanderson played for HPK in Finland in 94-95 and left saying “Finland is not Funland, I had only 5 channels on the TV”. Sean Avery came 04-05, played 3 games and left without saying anything to anybody.

  10. “He’s a young guy who seems to have some mild entitlement issues.”

    That’s putting it lightly.

    Boo hoo, it was -20 degrees outside. Maybe that should have been a consideration when you decided to play in FINLAND!

  11. Every time a Flyers fan talked about JVR not living up to his billing as a no. 2 pick, or about how they should’ve had Pat Kane at no. 1, I mentioned it could’ve been about worse and they could’ve had Turris at no. 3.

  12. Being a little unfair to Turris. Sure he should admit he found it tough and not back peddle, but he comments can easily be portrayed like he’s some spoiled brat, which is not necessarily true.

    What he describes is hardly pleasant and whether he’s an “entitled” NHL player or not, it’s not exactly a first class ride ver there. Give the kid a break. He’s 23, his honesty was probably used to make him look bad, not he fault. Next time, he just won’t talk to the reporter.

  13. What’s missing here is that reporters can and (in my extremely limited experience of talking to people who have been interviewed by newspapers) do sift, alter and stretch quotes to the breaking point after interviews for a story to make it more interesting / controversial.

    It’s hard to believe sometimes because we are all accustomed to believe newspapers, but they DO sometimes do this.

    I’d give Turris some benefit of doubt here. I can totally imagine the interviewer being like “well, I bet there wasn’t much to do there, eh?” and Turris being like “Yeah, I guess” and it getting spun or whatever. I mean, it’s certainly not enough on Turris to declare him this douchebag asshole based on this.

  14. I think a lot of commentators are being hard on Turris. He is an immature 23 year old who spoke honestly to a reporter. That was his mistake. How he handles the fallout is his agent’s job and his agent really dropped the ball.

    Being a Sens fan, I am quite happy with having Turris on the team despite being reluctant to let a talented prospect like Runblad go. He managed 29 points in 49 games and certainly showed off a ton of potential on the ice. He solidified the second line centre position and by all accounts fit really well into the dressing room. As well, the kid certainly can score, remember this time in 2008 when everyone was raving about Turris because he led Team Canada WJHC team in scoring? Exactly.

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  17. dude, what a nutsack, time he plays against Anze Kopitar he should bow down and kiss his ass.. also i guess this will stop any future kyle turris to edmonton talks lol

  18. Maybe he didn’t like the fact that Oulu was ranked one of the Top 7 Intelligent communities as it mentions on their city’s webpage? I lived in a community about the size of Oulu, and while it wasn’t NYC or Seattle there was enough to do and be social. Maybe the Finnish just don’t like douchebags, Kyle.

  19. Wow
    Brutal ,horrible judgement on a young man. Do your research have some respect. Are you aware what this young man does quietly, unannounced for young kids across this city. Next time you want to talk entitlement ask all the special needs kids he spent time with playing hockey for hours, with out any fan fair and see if they do not see him as great. Or ask all the kids he hung out with at a quiet rink with no bullshit ” reporters ” like you crapping on his character. His character speaks volumes in kindness and goodness .

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