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.”