Sens GM Bryan Murray took some time after the team's practice at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau today to answer questions on the roster ahead of next week's trade deadline.
Here's what he had to say...
On the roster freeze ending:
I've talked to a few managers but obviously nothing is going on at the moment. I think there will be more calls going forward here.
On if they could go through the deadline without a move:
It's very possible. I've read that I should just re-sign my own players so I might just consider that.
On the number of teams in contention making trades difficult:
Well I think that's the whole thing, there's only three or four teams that are really out and I guess what we would call sellers. For the moment anyway, with so many teams fighting for a playoff spot, I would suggest that the price is a little higher than you'd want to pay. I like our hockey team and if we don't do anything, we're fine. We've got some kids that have played really well down below and if it requires a call-up a little later on to fill a spot, we can do that.
On protecting young assets:
There are certain players that we are not going to trade, certain young players. They're the future and we're going to stick with them. There are a few others that I'd say are promising prospects that, if they were asked for in a trade and I could get the right player in return, obviously I would do that.
On impending UFAs as trade bait:
Well that's the question we're going through every day now. I've asked the coaches, I've asked our staff — are we legitimate to take a run at a playoff spot? If we are, why would I do that? I see teams acquiring unrestricted free agents and paying a fairly big price to stay in the race and that's one of the questions asked of me all the time. If I have guys that we like that are unrestricted in the summer we may just stick with them, finish the year and make the decision at that point.
On acquiring impending UFAs:
Well I think that's the whole thing. What's the price a team like us would pay for an unrestricted guy that would come in here, play 20 games and in all likelihood move on. It's a dilemma and a consideration and something we are talking about daily. I've talked to some GMs and we'll evaluate each individual case as it comes along, if it does come along, and hopefully make the right decisions.
On Hoffman's recall:
Mike Hoffman has been outstanding. I've talked to our staff, I've talked to Luke Richardson and Steve Stirling in Binghamton, I've talked to other scouts in other organizations as well and there's not one guy that has said to me that this guy doesn't have the capability to play in the NHL. He does everything at high speed, he shoots the puck in the net. I think Mike has put a little unfair pressure on himself when he has come up here the last couple of times. We've talked with the coaching staff about putting him in a position, it looks like that where he is right now, to have a chance to really show what he can do and I'm hoping that this time Mike will be honest with himself and just go play. We're not asking him to be anything phenomenal, just go play the way he's capable of and show us what he can do. That may be all it requires. If he does what we think he is then he'll on the team for the balance.
On his ideal trade target:
That's more what I'm looking at than anything really — if I can make the right deal to get a guy that has played in the league, has a little term in his contract, that we would get a chance to get to know and he'd get a chance to get to know us and then maybe you'd get to keep him around, that's the ideal thing for me.
On practice in Gatineau:
I think it's terrific. First of all, the young people turn out the way they did today, I think that was great. I think our obligation is to expose our players in a practice or two in different areas and certainly trying to get some fans from this side of the Ottawa River, I think it's really important. I think we are getting some but we have to do a better job on a daily basis of making that happen.
On Robert Guertin Arena:
I played here as a kid, I played high school hockey, I played junior A hockey. There was always a team in Gatineau — Hull at that time when I was playing — and I spent a lot of time in this arena over the years. Then I almost was confused when I came over here today so that's how often I come lately, but I had Pierre to guide me.
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