NEWARK, N.J. – On a day that was marked by movement, there simply wasn’t a trade available for Bryan Murray.
So the Ottawa Senators general manager was only too happy to use the 17th overall pick on Edmonton Oil Kings centre Curtis Lazar on Sunday.
“Obviously the biggest thing Curtis that is, is a competitive person,” Murray said Lazar. “He’s been compared to me as a hard-nosed, competitive guy in the National Hockey League. He scores. He’s had a real good career doing that.”
Lazar recorded 61 points (38 goals and 23 assists) in 72 games with Edmonton last season. Fourteen of his 38 goals came in the final 20 games of the regular season. While the offensive numbers are strong, the organization views him as an all-around forward.
“(He’s) the type of player we were looking for,” said assistant general manager Tim Murray. “He’s a complete player. He’s gritty and competitive. He can play the game.
“I think he has a very good offensive game. I think he’s compared to those competitive guys like (Los Angeles Kings captain) Dustin Brown because they are complete players and have an offensive game to them, and they play with an edge.
Added Tim Murray: “He’s not being compared to the energy players of the world of the National Hockey League. He’s being compared to guys with energy and grit and determination, but also the guys that score goals. I expect he’s going to score 30 goals, for sure, for us. He’s certainly going to score skill goals. He’s going to fit into the mould that we’re trying to represent.”
Along with Lazar, the Senators took goaltender Marcus Hogberg, right-winger Tobias Lindberg, defenceman Ben Harpur, centre Vincent Dunn, right-winger Chris LeBlanc and centre Quentin Shore.
More than being good fits for the Senators, the primary reason that all seven players are headed to Ottawa for prospect development camp is that nothing materialized over the weekend despite a hyper-charged marketplace.
“As happens very often, and in particular the first round, if you have a decent position you’re very reluctant to give that position up,” said Bryan Murray. “I talked to some people that would have had to move a number of picks back to make it work for them. The price was quite substantial. I had a couple offers to move down as the draft was going on. We felt there was a player there that we didn’t want to pass on, so we didn’t move backwards. It’s totally understood it’s tough to move.”
One area in which he made headway was with Daniel Alfredsson, as the Senators general manager said he spoke with Alfredsson’s agent, J.P. Barry over the weekend on a new deal for the Senators’ captain.
“We talked about how we could get a deal done,” Murray said. “We talked about term, threw numbers back and forth slightly. Nothing firm. He’s going to go back to Alfie and talk to him again. I will do the same thing on my part. Hopefully we’ll talk in the next couple days.”
When pressed on the word term, Murray acknowledged the possibility of a multi-year contract for the 40-year old.
“Not necessarily one year,” Murray said. “I mean he might want to play 10 more years. He’s a guy that just seems to thrive on playing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a one-year deal. It may well end up being that but we may talk a little more.”