Bryan Murray

Sens GM Murray on Karlsson: ‘His year is finished’


Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray addressed the media this afternoon, roughly 14 hours after learning star defenseman Erik Karlsson would be lost for the season after suffering an Achilles laceration against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

He didn’t bother mincing words.

“Erik had surgery this morning to repair a 70 percent cut in his Achilles, and recovery is 3-4 months,” Murray said. “His year is finished at this time.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes that the silver lining — if there is one — is that Karlsson’s Achilles wasn’t severed completely.

Repairing a 100 percent cut apparently requires a “shortening” of the tendon, which can complicate the recovery process.

In his address, Murray also mentioned he spoke to NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan after the league ruled there would be no supplemental discipline for Matt Cooke, the Penguins forward that lacerated Karlsson’s Achilles on a second-period hit.

“They suggested it was a hockey play gone bad,” Murray said. “I suggested Cooke has somewhat of a history.”

This remark is similar to what the Sens GM said immediately following Wednesday’s loss — “It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?”

In other news from Murray’s presser:

On trying to replace Karlsson via trade: “I’ve made some calls about different players. Nobody willing to give me a player for a player not in the league yet,” he explained. “I don’t want to give up the best prospect in my organization for a short-term guy here.” Murray also said he doesn’t want to give up first-round picks.

— He said Karlsson wasn’t wearing the protective Kevlar socks that more NHLers have turned to in recent years. Detroit forward Valtteri Filppula became the first Wing to wear them last season after sustaining a skate blade cut on his shin in December.

— He also added that Karlsson was “angry” about the incident but said the reigning Norris Trophy winner would be fine. “He’s a strong guy, and he’s confident,” Murray explained.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.