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Sens GM Staios: 'There’s lots of dialogue right now'

Steve Staios Ottawa Senators Steve Staios -

With the Stanley Cup Final potentially ending Saturday and the official start of the off-season in sight, Ottawa Senators president of hockey operations and general manager Steve Staios says trade talks have picked up since he started discussions with other GMs at last week's NHL combine.

“There’s lots of dialogue right now,” he told Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch on Friday.

"It’s been busy. You know what happens, you get to the combine, you spend time interviewing the players and getting to know guys to prepare for the draft, but managers are around and you spend a lot of time with lots of ideas going back and forth.

“Each manager is looking at their group, they look at where they’re at, and what they might want to accomplish.”

While Staios did not specify what the team is looking at, Garrioch reported earlier this week that the Senators have been “one of the most aggressive teams” in the pursuit of Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom and added that the team has held talks with the Boston Bruins on netminder Linus Ullmark and the Nashville Predators on Juuse Saros.

League sources also told Garrioch that the Senators are listening to see what level of interest there is in defenceman Jakob Chychrun and could also be looking to deal winger Mathieu Joseph.

“Yeah, there are some areas where you have to look at. You have to look at that, at the time, if the opportunity presents itself, but I think in general we’re looking to improve in all areas,” Staios said on Friday.

Staios added that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing back both goaltenders Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg next season.

“Both goalies are capable of playing better,” Staios told Postmedia. “We have all share in the responsibility of how played in front of them. They’re the last line of defence. Certainly they’re real pros and their comments after the season were that they know they need to be better. That’s the hope.”

Staios also said he’s holding talks with the club’s restricted free agents, which includes centre Shane Pinto, forward Parker Kelly and defenceman Erik Brannstrom.

2024 First-Rounders In Play?

Staios also told Postmedia that the team will wait until arriving at the draft in Las Vegas to determine if they will move one of their two first-round draft picks (No. 7 and No. 25 overall).

“This draft, in particular, is slightly unpredictable," he said Friday. "So I think we’ll be prepared when we get to that pick on what we want to do with it.

“We feel like there’s very good players available at that (seventh overall) spot.”

Garrioch noted that even if Staios decides to move the No. 7 pick, it’s likely in a deal to move back a few spots and get an asset in return. The No. 25 pick, was acquired from the Red Wings last summer in a deal that sent winger Alex DeBrincat to Detroit.