Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray looking for trade partners at meeting in Boston

Bryan Murray decided to stay out of the high-stakes signing game on the opening day of NHL free...

Bryan Murray decided to stay out of the high-stakes signing game on the opening day of NHL free agency on Friday. (QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

Bryan Murray is headed for Beantown Wednesday morning, but the agenda for the general managers' meeting is the least of his worries.

Instead, the Senators GM will be trying to talk trade.

Murray confirmed during Tuesday's news conference at the soon-to-be-named Canadian Tire Centre he has spent a big part of the off-season working the phones in an attempt to get a Top 6 forward and move up in the NHL draft.

With the 30 GMs gathering Wednesday in Boston for their annual meeting during the Stanley Cup final, Murray will be trying to get some talks in place before the draft is held June 30 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

The Senators are supposed to pick No. 17, but Murray is bound and determined to try to move up.

"We have a chance to get a good player this year. The draft, through the first round, is fairly decent," said Murray. "There's a variety of types. We know now that we've got a core of young players coming with a fair amount of talent.

"There's a certain type of player that we'll be looking for in that spot. It's hard to say at the moment what that is, but a player who is going to fit into our hockey team in the future."

Murray said he has spoken with four teams above him and is trying to move up. He certainly suggested he'd willing to move one of the club's top prospects as part of a package if it meant the Senators have a chance to move up.

"I will call a number more and see if anybody wants to move," said Murray. "There are certain reasons to move fairly high and if you don't do that, then maybe we're OK where we are.

"I have talked and nobody has really gotten back to me. I don't suspect that anybody will be willing to move down, but you never know. We might have an asset that would address a need."

Murray ruled out using the draft pick to get the Top 6 forward who can score. He will use the GM meeting in Boston to see what scoring forwards might be coming available with the salary cap going down. He said he has spoken to a couple of teams about forwards.

"I'll have the opportunity to talk to a variety of managers for different teams," said Murray. "Then, we'll see if anybody is really interested in engaging and trying to do something for their team.

"Where we are right now (at No. 17) I don't think we'll get the Top 6 guy, but maybe that's a possibility if we're patient enough in three or four years. We might be able to get a better player if we want to move up, but you have to be willing to pay a price for that as well."

WAITING ON ALFIE

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was on hand for Tuesday's news conference, but didn't get a chance to speak with the media because he had to duck out early to attend his daughter's dance recital.

He sent word through master of ceremonies Dean Brown that he hasn't made a decision on his future. Murray confirmed he met with Alfredsson two days ago and didn't ask for any timeline for a decision on whether he'll play or retire.

Murray said if Alfredsson decides to play, the club will have contract talks with Kelowna-based agent J.P. Barry to get a deal in place. As the Sun reported Saturday, it's believed that will be a one-year deal at $4.5 million.

"I told him to take whatever time he needs and come back to me -- as early as you can -- but do what you have to do to satisfy your family and to make sure that you're ready to play. When he's ready to give an answer, we're ready to talk about doing something going forward," said Murray.

Murray said Alfredsson has started working out at Scotiabank Place. Yes, whatever Alfredsson decides will have an effect on what the club does down the road.

"He fills a vital role with this hockey team. He's a Top 6 forward, he's a point-getter, he's much more than that, however, he's a leader. He's the glue guy in the room," said Murray.

"He's got a respect level amongst the young guys in the room. I think Alfie shows them how to work, shows them how to practise and allows them, through his conversations with them, to be confident enough to go out on the ice and play."

SIGNING ON DOTTED LINE

Murray said he had one conversation about a contract extension with coach Paul MacLean over dinner recently. He said he plans to sit down with MacLean during draft meetings next week in New York to try to get a new deal in place. "We'll have a few days in New York and try to get something done," said Murray.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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