Bryan Murray

Sens GM Murray: Alfredsson conversation ‘devastating, disappointing’


In what was a roller coaster of a day for the Ottawa Senators, GM Bryan Murray couldn’t help but describe the low point.

Following a period in which the team lost longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson and gained Bobby Ryan via trade, Murray told reporters the discussion he had with Alfredsson about leaving Ottawa was painful.

“It was a devastating, disappointing conversation,” Murray explained. “Hard to swallow.

“We’re going to miss him as a person, a leader and a guy in the community.”

There was a lot to digest during Murray’s press availability, so here are some bullet points:

— Murray said Alfredsson’s salary demands weren’t an issue and never really played a role. Owner Eugene Melnyk reportedly told the Sens GM “to pay him” (meaning Alfredsson) and that contract negotiations never really got started. (link)

— Murray only talked money/salary once with Alfredsson’s agent, JP Barry, and that was in New York the day before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. (link)

— Alfredsson was given the option to stick with the club, then be moved at the deadline if the Sens weren’t a Cup contender. He shot the idea down. (link)

— Murray said Alfredsson had been appraised, well in advance, of the organization’s effort to try and deal for Ryan. (link)

All in all, it came across as a very emotional and upsetting development for both the Sens organization and, on a personal level, Murray himself.

The Sens GM tried to put a positive spin on things, but that proved difficult given the circumstances.

“I hope your fans understand that this is something that happens sometimes,” he explained. “It’s hard to lose this guy.”

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…