Ottawa Senators willing to deal, open to moving up or down in NHL draft

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Ottawa Senators are willing to listen to offers at the NHL draft, be it to move up or down.

But, at a Saturday afternoon briefing with reporters, general manager Bryan Murray said his phone hadn’t been ringing.

“I put some feelers out to a different group of teams, talking about the possibility of moving—either way—and made a couple of proposals but nobody’s gotten back to me at this point,” Murray said.

Short of a deal, the Sens are set to pick 17th in Sunday’s draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“We really believe at our spot we have a chance to get a good player,” said Murray.

Meanwhile, Murray said he had yet to start contract talks with agent J.P. Barry over 40-year-old Daniel Alfredsson, who has announced he wants to come back for another season. He is expecting a call, however.

The GM, who declined to talk about how long a contract he might consider, thought his captain might be back.

“I had a feeling after talking to Alfie that he would probably want to try and play again for a period of time,” he said. “I’m not overly surprised. I think he walked out of Ottawa at the end of year and looked in great shape, he looked healthy. He was excited about some of our young people on the team.

“Obviously we’re pleased he’s made the decision to play again.”

Asked about whether former Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier might be a good fit if the contract was right, Murray replied: “Vincent Lecavalier would be a good fit with most teams in the league at the right dollars.

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“I haven’t put any feelers out to anyone about it, however.”

The return of Alfredsson hasn’t changed Ottawa’s off-season plans. Murray still looks to upgrade a team that managed to finish seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 25-17-6 despite a rash of injuries to its marquee names.

“We hope at some point in time through the summer we can maybe make an acquisition that can help the team.”

If Ottawa stays where it is in the draft, assistant GM Tim Murray says they have four players targeted. Above that is another group of five that “we’re hoping might be there, we’re not expecting one to be there but it’s happened in the past.”

The Sens have done their homework.

Pierre Dorion, Ottawa’s director of player personnel, said the team has interviewed close to 70 players. And some have been talked to more than once.

“We’re drafting hockey players. And that’s the most important thing, what they do on the ice, what we think they’re going to be,” Dorion said. “But also along with the hockey part comes the individual that’s going to be part of your family probably, hopefully for the next 10 years. So I think it’s good at a certain point just to get to know them a bit.”