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.”

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday. provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci


Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)