Kyle Turris's contract stand-off in Phoenix may never have been about money after all, as TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported on ESPN.com Thursday that the 22-year-old forward has asked for a trade.
"This has never been about money, we've been upfront with the club from Day 1," Turris's agent Kurt Overhardt told ESPN.com. "We've respectfully requested that the player had the opportunity to move forward in his career by having a fresh start."
Taken third overall at the 2007 NHL draft, Turris and the Coyotes made no progress this off-season in negotiating a new contract for the restricted free agent.
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney has remained adamant all along that trading the young centre has never been an option.
"The CBA gives us certain rights to Turris and we are exercising our rights," Maloney told ESPN.com in an email Thursday. "There will be a point in the future Turris will have the right to decide who he wants to play for and how much he will accept."
Maloney also made it clear that Turris's only option was to stay in the desert.
"If he wants to play in the NHL this season, he will re-sign with us," he explained. "We will not trade his rights under any circumstances and are prepared to live with the consequences if he decides to sit out this, and future, seasons."
Turris will be ineligible to play in the NHL this season if he is not signed by Dec. 1 under the rules in the league's collective bargaining agreement.
"I'm confident that we'll be able to work this important matter out with the Coyotes' organization so as to benefit both parties," Overhardt said.
Turris scored 11 goals and 14 assists in a career-high 65 games for the Coyotes in 2010-11. In 131 career NHL games, he has scored 19 goals and added 27 assists with 39 penalty minutes.