The 2014 Sens Draft Journal
Senators GM Bryan Murray offered his update after the 2014 NHL Draft. Here's what he had to say...
On Day 2:
Well we had picks so the scouts were happy and I think somebody even shook my hand at the end so obviously having an opportunity to pick a player is what they're all about. They tell me we picked a couple of kids and Pierre can tell you more about that obviously.
On the approach to July 1 with Spezza in the mix:
I don't think there's anything else I can do as far as approach is concerned. I call the teams or took calls from the teams that were interested and we talked about the return, the type of deal we want to make, and in a couple cases there was real interest and it went away. I don't know if it was because of the draft — the day of the draft picks are very valuable — whether that was part of it or something different. We will continue to talk over the course of time and I'm sure people that miss out at July 1 may come knocking but we'll have to come and see.
On if this deal has been more difficult than past ones:
I don't know why it would be more difficult, he's got a year left on his contract. If we can find a good package, something that is somewhat comparable. I've said all along we won't get full value, I know that. Jason is an 80-90 point guy and you don't get that kind of return in any kind of trade in this league today. I'm hoping we get something fair for the organization so we can put a player on the ice and maybe get a prospect or two and go from there. I don't think it gets any more difficult. What happened is, I'm sure, disappointing for him and disappointing for me because I'd like to accommodate him if I could. He does have a year left on his contract and, if that's the case, we'll have a pretty good player for next year.
On if he expects teams interested in Paul Stastny to be more interested as of July 1:
I have no idea about that honestly. I kept hearing that Kesler was the big fish out there and people were going to come out there. I talked to four or five teams that I don't think were very involved in a Kesler deal but things never materialized.
On the difficulty of adding a first rounder on draft weekend:
On draft day it certainly is. In July, August, September the attitudes are quite different. When you get to today you can't get a fifth-round pick let alone a first-round pick unless you're giving up quite a bit. I think going forward there will be discussion. I believe this is a quality player in the NHL so if we can do something we'll do something, whether it be a pick or, from my point of view, I'd like a couple of players I can put on the ice.
On Nashville's comments about wanting a first line centre:
David talked to me and we couldn't go there. I told Rick Curran (Spezza's agent) today that I had a deal sitting there if I wanted to do it but he was on the list of no-go's.
On if there could be a deal with Nashville with a change to the list:
Not now, they've done their James Neal trade so that has gone away and Anaheim has done away with Kesler. The field narrows a little bit but they might have to have a little change in approach as well as I do.
On if Nashville is ruled out because of the return:
I think it's always the return, maybe David and I will have another conversation later on, we talked today but he didn't indicate anything about a trade because of the Neal trade. He may come back to me.
On Tim Murray's first draft in Buffalo:
He's pretty cool, he's a no-nonsense type of guy as you know. It looked to me just watching and talking to a few people like they were organized, they knew what they wanted, they went about doing it. There's no question in my mind that Tim is an outstanding evaluator and that team will turn around quickly.
On if the trade market was blocked by the draft and free agency converging:
I don't know that's the case, if you want to make a trade you go make a trade. Everything is kind of compact this year. In two days it's July 1 and we have to get ready if we want to get ready to spend more money and so it may well be. It seemed to me there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of talk, people interested but nothing really happened. I had to make one trade at the end, a seventh round pick for the sixth next year just to say I did something. That was my accomplishment but we got an outstanding player my scouts told me so that's really good.
On his outlook towards July 1:
We need four forwards right now. That's not including Jason. I was hoping that Jason would give us one but we need a couple of other forwards. We need two left wingers, we need a centre if Jason's not here. There are a couple of spots open on the hockey club.
On Michalek's status:
I talked to him, they're going to come back July 1. I talked to Allan (Walsh) today, they're very fair and I think they'll come back and at least talk. If we can accommodate them we will and if not they will be gone.
On the players with contracts that expire next season:
Don Meehan said, "are you spending any money with me?" and I said I'll have to wait for July 1 for that to happen. We have to get on our horse there too with three or four guys and try to get some term with them if we possibly can.
On how Spezza effects July 1:
I don't know, that's the problem. That's part of your decision is what can you spend and where does it fit and what do you get in return for a certain player. If you don't know that it's harder.
Pierre Dorion on the Sens' selections:
On Andreas Englund:
Yesterday we were talking about a Spezza deal and we were trying to get a late first rounder and this is the guy we would have taken. For us we feel we left this draft with a first round pick in Andreas Englund. I said it on the radio, I've been scouting for 20 years and I don't think we'll bring a higher character person into our organization. He brings a physical presence, I think his skills are underrated, I think the fans are going to love him once he plays for us whether it's in two, three, four years. I think we have someone who's really going to help our organization down the road.
On his style of play:
Every game that we saw him, especially in the second half, we saw someone that we thought had the qualities to be a matchup guy, play against the other teams top lines. Last year we drafted a kid by the name of Tobias Lindberg, we talked to him, they were on the same team and Tobias told us, "I hate practicing against this guy every day." That says something about this guy's character, we got an asset here that's really going to help us very soon. He's physically very strong, he can even get stronger. We say we want to bring character people into the organization, well, this guy is at the top of the list for us.
On the size of the draft class:
Bryan always tells me, "Pierre, I want to look up at them, I don't want to look down on them." Over the past seven years we've taken some smaller skill guys but for us getting character, getting drive, getting competitiveness, I think we've got that in most of our picks this year. The last guy is a highly skilled guy and maybe it was an eye-opener for him because he was ranked fairly high. For the most part the whole draft we were very happy with what we got.
Shane is a big, strong power forward. A kid who works and competes. A terrific individual when we interviewed him. He knows what he is — a hard-nosed player.
On Eiserman's playing future:
He played in the USHL with Dubuque and he will be going the college route.
We're really excited about the upside and potential of this kid. He's playing in prep school, he's young, he's raw. He's an elite skater with terrific hands and vision as an offensive, puck moving defenceman.
On Gendron's playing future:
He's going to Penticton (BCHL) for a year and then he'll be going to the University of Connecticut to start in university.
On being drafted by the Sens:
It feels great, I've heard a lot about it as a younger guy. In Djurgardens where I play, a lot of guys have been drafted by the Ottawa Senators so I've heard a lot about it and it feels good to be a part of it.
On the Djurgardens-Sens connection:
It's exciting to have a lot of guys from Stockholm and Djurgardens. I think it's exciting.
On Sens he knows:
On what the other Swedes have told him about Ottawa:
They told me it's a great development camp in the summer and it is a great organization that helps a player develop.
On if he knows theSens' other Swedish defencemen:
Not personally, no.
On his game as a defenceman:
I would describe myself as a physical player, a tough player, a hard-working defenceman with good in-box play.
On NHLers he'd compare himself to:
I've looked up to Matthias Ohlund when he played. I think he's a great player.
On his style of play:
I'm pretty defensively minded, I try to make simple plays and be physical.
On his playing future:
I'll be playing senior hopefully in Sweden with Djurgardens.
On if he'll be at the Sens' Development Camp:
Well, we're extremely happy to draft a guy like Andreas. For us he's someone we feel that's going to play in our top-four down the road. He's a defensive defenceman, he's hard, he's character, he matches up, he's huge, he plays big. He's just a guy that plays a North American type of game. We're just excited to have him and bring in a guy like that who's big, who skates, who brings all those attributes to the ice.
On Englund's 2014-15 future:
Next year he's going to play for Djurgarden on their men's team and from there we'll see what happens the following year. He's someone that he's physically pretty strong already and he's going to get stronger but he's someone down the road that's going to challenge to play on our team in two to three years... We really had our eye on this player and we're really excited to draft this player.
11:00 PM: Here's what Sens GM Bryan Murray had to say about the Jason Spezza trade talks and the first round of the NHL Draft.
On trade talks:
There were conversations. People had suggested they might do certain things and at the end of the day there was no real legitimate, "we'll do this."
On getting value:
I've said all along that the way it's going to work is we're going to get some value for a really good hockey player. It certainly hasn't been out there at this point in time.
On if he thought the Kesler trade would spark things:
No, I really like Jason Spezza so I thought he might be the first guy that people would be calling on but the bottom line was four or five teams called, three hung in and suggested they were very interested but when we got to today there were no callbacks. I suspect they had made up their mind that they would pick because I was asking for a pick in the trade or they just felt they were okay the way they were... It wasn't high but I was asking for a pick.
On what happens next:
What happen to players signed to contracts? I suspect there will be further conversations. This was not a deadline by any means. We don't start hockey until mid-September, we have a number of things that could happen. It's a matter of having conversations with the right people. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn't we have a really good player.
On if the draft passing alters the desired return:
A first round pick was part of a package. As I said, it wasn't an early first round pick that I was talking about. It doesn't change. We know we have to get return for a quality player and unfortunately it didn't happen today.
On if something could happen this weekend:
You should get it out there. If managers want to make a trade I will talk to them.
On if the deal may take longer:
I have no idea, the odds certainly appear that way. A couple of the teams I was talking seriously to didn't come with a presentation for the most part. I talked to a number of general managers that, as I said, initially called and talked and it just didn't go anywhere.
On if it's frustrating to not pick in round one:
It's not so bad for me but for the guys that work in the field obviously it's very frustrating. You make decisions, we needed a player last year and we thought Bobby Ryan. We'd make that trade again, we think he's a quality goal scorer that will be very important for our club this year. We had to bite the bullet today for what we hope we'll achieve with a good player.
The podium is ready, the tables are set up and the people making it all happen are finding their seats on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia where the 2014 NHL Draft will take place over June 27 and 28.
Friday proved to be a busy day in the NHL so we'll see what the next 24 hours have in store for the Ottawa Senators.
Be sure to follow along with Inside the Senate's Draft to stay on top of all the news.
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