Senators GM believes team could have kept Alfredsson despite Ryan trade

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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk made it seem like the team needed to draw a line in the sand in July: either keep Daniel Alfredsson or trade for a significant player like Bobby Ryan. Sens GM Bryan Murray told NHL.com that the team probably would have been able to find a way to make it work with both players, however.

“I think Eugene’s being a little hard on himself in that scenario,” Murray said on Tuesday. “We had talked about a way of doing Alfie’s contract and still making the trade for Bobby Ryan, both financially and in terms of player return for [the Anaheim Ducks].”

Murray notes that he isn’t absolutely certain that the Ryan + Alfredsson setup would work, but he believes it would have at least been feasible.

The veteran GM admits that the franchise does indeed have an in-house budget that’s under the salary cap ceiling, although he notes that Melnyk wouldn’t be against making an impact move that pushes the payroll up higher. It just so happens that the time needs to be right.

All this conjecture makes the possibility of Alfredsson opening up on Thursday that much more enticing.