Sports Hockey

Sens GM keeping draft options open 0

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - 

Bryan Murray is ready to make some noise at the NHL draft. But he's good with staying quiet, too.

While he'd be happy to keep the 15th pick overall, the Senators GM said Thursday morning he'll listen to all offers of moving up or down in the first-round selecting order. Murray also wouldn't rule out trading one of his established stars if the right deal presents itself.

"One time many, many years ago, a reporter asked me (if anyone was untouchable) and then there was headlines the next day that I was going to trade Steve Yzerman," Murray said of his days as GM of the Detroit Red Wings. "So I'm not going to say that.

"There are people on this team that we're not really interested in trading. But it may well happen that we would try to do something, to either add a player or a higher pick. We're very open-minded. So if it gets out there that other managers would like to call, I'd be very open to that."

Don't assume the Senators will grab a defenceman with their first pick. Even though their first five picks last year were forwards -- including three in the first round -- Murray said he would stick with his philosophy of drafting the best player available.

Director of scouting Pierre Dorion expects says that will a good one.

"We're going to get someone we feel is going to be a Top 4 defenceman or a Top 6 forward down the road," said Dorion, who wouldn't rule out taking a goalie in the first round. "But picking 15th you know that player won't probably play for you for another two or three years."

Murray confirmed he has had preliminary contract talks with the agent for Erik Karlsson, who the Senators picked with the 15th selection four years ago. He expects to have further discussions with Craig Oster in Las Vegas, where Karlsson could be awarded the Norris Trophy, later this month.

Murray also said he has not heard from Daniel Alfredsson on the captain's decision to retire or not, and reiterated he'll will not push for one. Whenever Alfredsson announces his plans is all right with Murray.


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