NAPLES, FLA. -- Senators GM Bryan Murray isn't a happy man.
While the Senators remain in the hunt for Atlanta winger Marian Hossa and Tampa defenceman Dan Boyle, the Ottawa GM sent notice to the players they'd better shape up.
As NHL GMs wrapped up meetings yesterday, Murray told the Sun he stands by coach John Paddock, he's trying to make deals to improve the team and doesn't want to hear any complaining from players about uncertainty leading into the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
"Expectations and where we were (last year) put pressure on all of us and on the coaches," said Murray, who will join the team in Pittsburgh Saturday. "Getting through this deadline may be part of the issue. I think it's an excuse when they hear me talking about trying to add a player. If players can't handle that pressure, I think it's an excuse. We have to make a couple of decisions this weekend and then let them play."
Murray is confident Paddock is the right man to lead the team.
"He's doing a good job. It's just a situation where it's a bit of a down time," said Murray, who admitted he didn't bother to watch the 3-2 shootout victory over Philadelphia Tuesday.
"No, I didn't see us play and I made a point of not seeing us play," said Murray. "I liked the score. I like the fact we won. That will help our confidence level.
"I didn't like the fact we were ahead 2-0 and gave up the lead -- whether they were good or bad goals."
Murray said he talked to Atlanta GM Don Waddell about Hossa and will be waiting for a call this weekend to find out what's going to happen next.
Sources say the Senators have offered Antoine Vermette, but Murray said he doesn't have any interest in giving up the first-round draft pick that Waddell wants because the entry draft is in Ottawa in June.
"I've asked the question (about Hossa), yes," said Murray. "I've asked (Waddell) if there's that possibility if he's going to move him and can't get (a contract) done, that at least he consider talking to me about it. He said he would."
Murray said the answer should come pretty quickly, but admitted Hossa would be a perfect fit.
"We're so thin when you have to give up a roster player, which you hope not to have to do, but if you do that, then it opens up a hole for filling in other holes. He's a good player, an expensive player, but you have to pay a price for it," said Murray.