With a throng of reporters waiting at his stall, newly acquired Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris got his first taste of playing in a Canadian market after several years in the desert.
“I don't think I've seen this many cameras for a number of years now,” Turris said Monday after skating with his Ottawa teammates for the first time.
“It's a lot different pressure but I'm ready for it.”
The 22-year-old native of Burnaby, B.C., was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday in exchange for defenceman David Rundblad and a second-round pick. Turris will make his Sens debut Tuesday at home against the Buffalo Sabres.
Turris is looking for a fresh start after falling out with the Coyotes organization this year. He was Phoenix's third overall pick in the 2007 draft and scored 25 points in 65 games in 2010-11, but missed most of this season after holding out for a new contract.
The Coyotes refused to blink. A deal was finally reached on Nov. 22, but since then Turris has only played in six games and hasn't registered a point.
He admits it wasn't an ideal situation.
“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.”
Turris is expected to centre Nick Foligno and Erik Condra.
“We hope he'll solidify that second-line centre position that we've been searching for and not only for this season, but for seasons to come,” said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. “I think he's a piece that makes us better and for down the road as well.
“With the opportunity that we're prepared to give him we feel he's going to demonstrate that he's a quality player.”
Turris doesn't know much about his new teammates, but he did room with Jason Spezza at the 2008 World Championships.
“They've got a great mix of the older guys — Spezza and (Daniel) 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,” said Turris.
Alfredsson liked what he saw at practice.
“You could tell right away he's got a good shot,” said the Sens captain. “Hopefully we can make him fit in here quickly.”
Turris has been a friend of Ottawa prospect Patrick Wiercioch since childhood, Wiercioch is currently with the Sens' AHL affiliate in Binghamton, dealing with a throat injury.
“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,” said Turris. “But he's recovering fast and I told him how excited I was to be in the same organization as him.”
Notes: Defencemen Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba are both expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday. ... Winger Milan Michalek's status remains the same. Sidelined with a concussion, Michalek rode the bike Monday and could potentially skate Tuesday, but there is no timetable on his return. Craig Anderson will start in goal against the Sabres.