Bryan Murray

Sens GM Murray: I’ll deal prospects for offense


After averaging just 2.33 goals per game this season, the Ottawa Senators know they need to improve offensively.

And nobody seems to know it more than their GM, Bryan Murray.

Murray met with media on Tuesday and said increasing offense is his No. 1 offseason priority:


As far as prospects go, well, Murray has no shortage of them to deal.

Ottawa iced one of the league’s youngest teams this season, which included the youngest guy on the roster — 20-year-old Mika Zibanejad — who finished fourth on the team in scoring with 20 points.

All told, the Sens had 15 different players dress this season that were 23 or younger and have three former first-round picks yet to make their NHL debuts:  Matt Puempel (24th overall, 2011), Stefan Noesen (21st overall, 2011) and Cody Ceci (15th overall, 2012).

It’s clear Ottawa could use some more offense, but it could also use some size as well. The club wasn’t overly imposing in terms of physicality last year and got even smaller at the deadline by acquiring 5-foot-8 Cory Conacher from Tampa Bay.

“I like a bigger type of player,” Murray explained. “It gives you a better chance, especially in playoffs.”

It stands to reason that Murray will be aggressive in trying to move some pieces.

He feels the Sens are on the verge of contending for a title — they’ve made the playoffs the last two seasons and won their first series since 2007 — and can now reap the rewards for building a successful prospect pool.

“I think we’re a serious contender,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “We’ll have to an improved hockey club.

“A whole bunch of us want to win right now.”

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.