Bryan Murray

Murray

Sens’ Murray on Clarkson: ‘I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got’

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Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Ottawa Sun that he had discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding a trade to acquire David Clarkson.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Sens had conversations with the Leafs regarding Clarkson.

“What happened was [Dave Nonis] called me and asked if we’d be interested in talking about [Clarkson],” Murray told the Sun. “I think [Clarkson] will be better elsewhere and there’s no question that what happened in Toronto was not a good thing for him or the team.

“I threw some names at [Nonis] and he said he would take their contracts and I said, ‘It has to be more than that and you’d have to eat some money too.’ We just talked one day and I told him I’d think about it.”

Ottawa’s interest in the forward is not all that surprising. The Sens were reportedly interested in the 30-year-old’s services when he was an unrestricted free agent two summers ago.

In the end Murray was concerned the Leafs wouldn’t retain enough of Clarkson’s salary to make the deal worthwhile.

“I just called back [two days later] and said it doesn’t work,” Murray said. “When he played in New Jersey, I always thought he was a competitive guy. I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got [from Toronto].

“We talked [to] him before he went to Toronto. I think he’s competitive and he plays with grit. I watched us play [Los Angeles Thursday] and I thought we need that grit in our lineup, a guy who can stand up for our players, but it wasn’t him.”

Related: Clarkson hoping to get back to the ‘role that I played in New Jersey’

Video: Sens’ Neil (fractured left thumb) out indefinitely

Chris Neil Luke Gazdic

Trade rumors surrounding Senators tough guy Chris Neil officially cooled off Saturday afternoon.

The Ottawa forward suffered a fractured left thumb during a fight with the Oilers’ Luke Gazdic.

The Senators announced that Neil is out indefinitely.

The 35-year-old, who has spent his entire 13-year NHL career with Ottawa, became the subject of trade rumors last month.

Sens GM Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Citizen that he had received inquiries about the availability of Neil.

However, earlier this month Murray approached Neil with the idea of being traded and he said no.

Neil has four goals and seven points in 38 games this season to go along with eight fights and 78 penalty minutes.

Agent on Sens’ Greening: ‘I think he’s an NHL player’

Colin Greening

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray hasn’t been able to find a trade partner for Colin Greening and hinted a stint in the American Hockey League could be next for the forward.

“I tried to encourage them (other GMs) to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN Radio 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season. The 28-year-old hasn’t played since Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch in five straight games.

Murray told TSN Radio that he’s considering placing Greening on waivers following the All-Star break. If Greening clears, he could be headed for a stint with the Binghamton Senators. He hasn’t played in the AHL since playing 59 games with the Senators’ affiliate during the 2010-11 season.

“I don’t expect him to be in the American Hockey League,” Greening’s agent, Allain Roy, told PHT this week. “At this point it’s not something we’re really talking about. I think he’s an NHL player and within the time frame Bryan wants, he’ll find a home in the NHL.”

Roy, understandably, believes there is a suitor in the NHL for his client’s services, but with another year remaining on his three-year, $7.95 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $2.65 million, it might be a tough sell for a player, who has scored 10 or more goals once in his career.

“He’s a big winger that can skate and play physical. I would think that maybe some teams out there that need that and with this being the all star break, there’s going to be some teams looking to make a run in the second half,” said Roy. “We’ll wait and see what’s going to happen.”

As a result of the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar, Greening has been a healthy scratch in 22 of Ottawa’s 46 games this season.

“He’s a young guy, he’s got a lot of years left,” Roy said. “He’s an NHL player, he just needs to find another NHL home, if it’s not Ottawa.”

Sens’ GM Bryan Murray will make a decision on his future after this season

Bryan Murray
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Bryan Murray plans to make a decision on his future in the business following this season.

The Senators general manager is battling Stage 4 colon cancer and going for regular chemotherapy treatments while maintaining his position in Ottawa’s front office.

“I think I’ve got to take a look at it at the end of this year,” Murray told the Ottawa Citizen. “My wife would like me to take off. Geri’s been good, though. She says, ‘I know you have to have something to do.’

“I don’t know whether I can just put my feet up.”

Murray took over as Senators head coach in 2004 leading the club to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2007.

“What am I going to do?” Murray said. “Play through the year. Wait and see. I have to have a talk with Eugene. He has something to say here, too.

“Maybe it’s time to move on. That’s OK, too.”

When the 72-year-old does step aside, he’ll appoint a successor.

“All Eugene (Melnyk) said to me was, ‘you’re going to pick the next guy, Bryan. Work with me on it, but you come up with when you’re going to transfer it over’,” said Murray.

Once he hands over his GM duties, Murray would like to remain a part of the organization in an advisor role.

“I’m very interested in what happens here, I’m real proud of this group and the people we have,” Murray said. “I wish we were higher up (in the standings) but I see a young team that’s going to be pretty good. So I have real interest in doing the right thing for them.”

Sens looking to move Colin Greening

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
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Colin Greening is expected to be a healthy scratch for a fifth straight game tonight when the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Rangers.

Greening has not played since a 5-2 Ottawa loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch 21 times this season entering tonight’s game.

With Chris Neil returning after missing 16 games with a knee injury, Sens’ GM Bryan Murray doesn’t see Greening getting into the lineup anytime soon.

As a result, Murray is working the phones looking for a new home for Greening.

“I just basically told him that I had talked with a number of GMs. I tried to encourage them to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season.

The 28-year-old is in the second year of a three-year $7.95 million deal and will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Greening has not played in the American Hockey League since appearing in 59 games with the Binghamton Senators during the 2010-11 season.

“He happens to be the guy not in the lineup and is not going to be, it looks like, in the next few games at least,” said Murray. “He’s a young guy with a chance to play can contribute to a team in the National Hockey League. He’s a big guy, he skates pretty well. He just doesn’t fit right now with our group at this moment anyway. Two injuries from now, he could be the most important guy going.”

Murray cited the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has a goal and two assists in 14 games this season, and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar as reasons Greening has struggled to find playing time this season.

Murray has spoken to Greening’s agent about finding a trade for the forward, but if a deal can’t be found, Greening is expected to be placed on waivers following the all star break.