Ottawa staying active during season freeze

Greg Smith February 12, 2014 3

The following article is a Guest Post. From time to time will feature the work of other writers with the intention of providing a different perspective on the Canadian teams in the NHL.  In this instance, the following article is from Alex Jackson and it takes a look at Ottawa Senators general manager Brian Murray and his look at strengthening the Senators.

While the NHL has been frozen for over two-weeks during the Winter Olympics, there will be plenty of business being done ahead of the March 5 trade deadline – with Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray expected to be active. While the Senators GM headed off to Florida during the break, Murray has admitted he is still looking at strengthening an Ottawa squad still in the hunt for a playoff spot – check out these NHL odds for more info.

Coming off the back of a horrible 7-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, the Senators general manager knows the business he does between now and the end of the trade window could be the difference between squeaking into the playoffs and not. The trade deadline is set for March 5 – eight days after the season resumes – and Murray has admitted he will be ready to move if the right deal comes up that could help the Senators secure a playoff spot.

“I’m fairly happy with the group that we have. I do think if we could find another forward that had some offensive ability or a real determination to play hard. That’s basically what I’m looking to do if that’s possible,” said the Senators GM.

An issue for a lot of NHL team is that the market isn’t exactly flush with players at this point of the season. With only the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers ruled out of making the playoffs, not many teams are that keen on bolstering their rivals’ rosters. Even the teams already ruled out of the playoffs aren’t going to hand over their players without getting No. 1 picks and talented prospects in exchange for any rentals this season.

The Senators have made no secret over their interest in Buffalo winger Matt Moulson, but Ottawa are just one of a number of other teams in the league looking at securing the services of the 30-year old. There have also been some reports linking the Senators with St. Louis forward Chris Stewart, although the Blues will likely want a roster player in return for their star man, something the Senators may not be willing to do.

Murray admitted the market wasn’t proving as fruitful as it has in recent years, revealing there had been approaches made for a number of Senators players in the run-up to an intriguing March 5 trade deadline for Ottawa.

“I’ve found it difficult. I’ve also found that there’s a couple of guys on our team who seem to be a target for other managers and they are not people that I want to move,” said Murray.

“The prices, and I don’t know that it will change and it might be a little different as we get to the deadline, it seems to me that everybody is looking for one or two particular players and if that doesn’t happen there will be a tumbling effect.”