Senators GM trades ... pleasantries

Senators GM Bryan Murray says there wasn't much trade talk going on at the NHL GM meetings this...

Senators GM Bryan Murray says there wasn't much trade talk going on at the NHL GM meetings this week. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency file photo)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:38 PM ET

Just back from NHL meetings in Florida, Bryan Murray reports there was plenty of trade banter among his peers.

The trading of pleasantries, that is.

“We were talking about families,” the Senators GM explained at Scotiabank Place Wednesday. “I said, ‘isn’t it funny that years ago, at every break in the meeting or the night before, you’d see two guys off in the corner talking, whispering to each other and trying to make a trade?’ Now we ask how each other’s kids are, and where they are and that. 

“Nobody has any (cap) room. I talked to probably only four or five teams there. I think there’s another 14 or 15 I’ve called ... I’ve said, ‘do you want to do anything?’ (and the response is) ‘no, not really.’ 

“Nobody can really do anything right now unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar trade, and we know that doesn’t work very often.”

The fact his team is on a roll doesn’t mean Murray wants to stand pat.

“We’re always looking to upgrade, there’s no question,” he said. “I have an interest in talking, put it that way.”

As for official business conducted, Murray said there was continued focus on head hits.

“It’s a rule that’s evolving,” he said. “You can never tell if a guy deliberately goes for the head, but if there’s a head hit and the hitter could have done something different, we want it penalized. We want the player suspended. By doing that, you’ll get everybody’s attention, and eventually, most of them will hopefully go away.”

One problem is the varying length of suspensions. Eventually there will be a standard, Murray believes.

“The NFL fines somebody $50,000 (and Flyers centre) Daniel Briere (recently) got fined $240,000,” Murray said. “Our penalties are much more severe, financially. That’s not often drawn to attention. The three games might not seem much, but there’s a lot of money involved.”

Murray is in favour of the coach’s challenge proposed by Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon — has been for two years — but because there was a lack of overall support, the discussion went nowhere.

“There were only four or five of us that voted for that, so it wasn’t even put on the agenda for March (meetings),” said Murray. “I think we all are affected somehow or another by a call, in different games. I think the concern was, not every arena is equipped with the same cameras. So what’s called in one mainstream arena might not be effective in another. I guess it got to a point where they just didn’t want to get there right now.”

But Murray doesn’t think it’s a dead issue.

“We’ll get there in my time. That’s probably a few years down the road,” he joked.

Murray, however, is not a fan of expanding overtime and going from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 situations, to cut down on shootout games. Not that he’s a fan of shootouts, either.

“I’m not for shootouts, but that’s an exciting part for the fans,” he said. “I understand that. I much prefer to play the game, the way the game to me is supposed to be played. Go to overtime, play your 10-minute overtime 5-on-5, and if it’s a tie, it’s a tie. 

“The discussion was, the shootout percentage has been way down so far this year. So we’ll look at it. I think the fact that the points you get in a shootout may not help you get into the playoffs, there’s a feeling that teams are going for (the win in overtime) a little more often.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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