OTTAWA – Bryan Murray was active on the NHL trade front again Thursday.
The Ottawa Senators GM completed his third trade in less than a week, dealing left-winger Jarkko Ruutu to Anaheim for a 2011 sixth-round draft pick. And with his club languishing in last spot overall in the Eastern Conference standings, Murray said he’s not finished tinkering with his lineup heading into the NHL trade deadline Feb. 28.
“I don’t think so,” he said during a conference call. “I’ve had a variety of calls on different people so I think at some point we know we have to keep a core of players here because some of the kids that are possibly going to play on the team next year aren’t available to us now.
“There are other people I’m talking to about other people, so I suspect that there will be a couple more, at least.”
Murray has started rebuilding well ahead of the trade deadline, sending forward Mike Fisher to Nashville and forward Chris Kelly to Boston in separate deals over the last week.
Ruutu, 35, had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 59 penalty minutes in 50 games this season with the Senators. He has 140 points (57-83) and 1,040 penalty minutes in 629 career NHL games with Ottawa, Vancouver and Pittsburgh.
“Jarkko is an effective, two-way player that we feel will help us down the stretch,”Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement.“He’s the energetic, gritty type of addition we were looking for.”
The prevailing sentiment is Ottawa will head into the summer with plenty of space under the NHL salary cap, which would allow Murray to dip into the free-agent waters to improve his hockey club. But the Senators GM said he can’t predict just how active he’ll be.
“Obviously we have some spots that are going to have to be filled,” he said. “I think if we do the right thing and explain what we’re doing here I think we can end up getting a couple good players to come to Ottawa.
“I think it’s a very attractive city and with the core of the team we have here I think some players see it as an opportunity for them, but we won’t know that until it comes. We will try our very best, of course.”