As I attended the Ottawa 67’s School Day matinee against the Kingston Frontenacs on Monday, I saw a familiar face a couple of suites over surveying the action. Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray was taking in the game, most likely to check out the progression of 67’s winger and Senators draft pick Shane Prince.
During the first intermission, I approached Murray and asked him for a couple of minutes of his time. Being a stand-up guy, he was more than gracious with his time, and agreed to answer a few questions. Here is my conversations with the Senators GM:
SenShot: Thanks for taking a couple of minutes to speak to me today. I take it you are here to look at Shane Prince?
Bryan Murray: Yes, primarily, but we are also looking closely at a couple of future players that might become available also.
SenShot: I assume you are referring to the likes of Cody Ceci for this year, and Sean Monahan for 2013?
Murray: Yes, they look to be players that will go pretty high in the next couple of drafts.
SenShot: Do you think Monahan is a top 10 pick in 2013?
Murray: It certainly looks that way, he is pointed in the direction of being a top 10 player in that draft.
SenShot: What do you like about Ceci?
Murray: We like his mobility and he really has an offensive presence on the ice.
SenShot: Prince has had a really good run of late. Are you happy with his progression and what do you like about him?
Murray: Shane is smart, has great hockey sense, and is a great guy to play with because of his ability to find the open man. We saw that from him in our training camp and it has continued on.
SenShot: How close is Matt Carkner to returning to the lineup?
Murray: Matt is skating now but is still a little ways away.
SenShot: I wrote yesterday (Sunday) that the fact that Brian Lee has played in consecutive games feels like you are showcasing him for a potential deal. Is that the case?
Murray: No, I don’t think that is true. Lee is a bona fide defenseman in this league who needs some playing time, and it comes down to us trying to find time for 7 NHL defensemen to play.
SenShot: Fair enough. How about Daniel Alfredsson, is he close to coming back?
Murray: He is still taking it day by day, as you never know with a concussion how long it will be. He will take the time he needs to get to 100% before coming back.
SenShot: Has there been any discussion about his plans for next year, if we will see him back on the ice in Ottawa?
Murray: I really don’t know right now, we haven’t talked about it. I think a lot of it will have to do with how he plays this year. Also, how we do and play as a team will likely factor into his decision.
SenShot: One final question. Are you happy with the play of the Senators so far this season?
Murray: On the whole, I think we have to be happy with the results. We have 10 new players in the lineup and 8 with less than 50 NHL games, and to be at or around the .500 mark is about as good as could be expected.
SenShot: Thank you Bryan, for taking a few minutes to speak with me.
I would like to really thank Bryan Murray for taking a couple of minutes during his day for the impromptu conversation with me during a scouting expedition. He was more than willing to speak even though he didn’t owe me anything, and I sincerely appreciate his time.