Senators GM Bryan Murray is willing to wheel out the shopping cart at the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, but he won’t pay the outrageous prices his counterparts are asking.
“Right now, some teams are looking for a top young prospect and a first-round pick in exchange for a (UFA). I’m not willing to do that,” said Murray Friday.
After the Senators ended a seven-game losing skid Thursday with a 4-3 victory over Nashville to stay in a playoff position, many are wondering whether Murray is going to be a buyer or seller this spring. It’s still kind of muddy.
With the Senators trying to stay in the playoff hunt, Murray would be willing to add another depth forward, but not necessarily a potential UFA. Or he would look at bringing in a player who could impact the team’s lineup for a few years.
“I’d like to send a message to our team that we’re serious about getting into the playoffs and being able to perform at that time,” said Murray.
“If something comes along that makes a lot of sense to us as far as improving the team, maybe not necessarily short-term, but longer-term, then certainly I’d consider that. Maybe a little like Kyle Turris. Maybe not that young, but a player we know we can keep in the organization for a period of time and can help us as we go forward.”
The Senators are one of several teams — including the Wings, Rangers, Hawks, Bruins and Sharks — that have an interest in Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. GM Jim Rutherford wants to see if he can sign the veteran before dealing him.
“It appears there aren’t that many teams selling right now,” said Murray. “There are a lot of teams that feel they’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot and they’ll probably wait until the last possible moment.
“I’ve only talked to a few, but the teams I’ve talked with, it doesn’t seem realistic that you could make a deal from our perspective. I think if you’re a top team, you might pay the price, but from our perspective, not being in first place in our conference, we probably wouldn’t want to pay the price that’s being asked.”
Murray said several teams are trying to keep their potential UFAs.
Last season, Murray was one of the NHL’s busiest GMs — as a seller. He unloaded Mike Fisher (Nashville), Chris Kelly (Boston), Jarkko Ruutu (Anaheim), Brian Elliott (Colorado) and Alex Kovalev (Pittsburgh).
“I won’t be as busy. I can assure you of that,” said Murray. “I don’t really have an answer. I believe that core of players that we have, we want to keep. We feel we have a plan in place that will give us a chance to grow this organization back to one of the good ones.
“I’m not in a mood to trade a top young player for a rental.”