The Ottawa Senators might be 10 points out of a playoff spot, but Bryan Murray is making it crystal clear that he’s not interested in trading his No. 1 goaltender anytime soon.
Speaking to TSN 1200 on Monday, the Senators general manager shot down the notion that he would be open to dealing Craig Anderson with his team out of the playoff picture.
“Why would I do that at this point? We don’t have a third goaltender. Robin (Lehner) is close to being ready, but he’s got to play more games. If you don’t have goaltending in this league, you don’t have anything. We know that,” Murray said. “We can’t get rid of a guy and then not be able to find a guy who can come in and play at that calibre. We know that’s not going to happen. It’s unlikely that Craig Anderson is going anywhere – but the net in Ottawa.”
Anderson’s play has been one of the few bright lights in an otherwise dismal season for the Senators. The netminder has posted a 12-11-6 record, with a .927 save percentage that ranks fifth in the NHL.
Last week Anderson told reporters that the ball was in the Senators court when it came to the topic of trades, but Murray’s comments on Monday should end any speculation about Anderson’s future in Ottawa. Anderson signed a three-year contract extension in August that will keep him in Ottawa through the 2017-18 season.
While a portion of the Senators fan base seems to be embracing the idea of losing to get a better draft pick – and doing something like trading Anderson - Murray says that is not the philosophy of the front office.
“It’s hard just to throw in the towel and I never want that to be the message. It’s easy for people to say that who are outside of the organization. But when you’re inside and you’re trying to build credibility, you want to send the message that we want to be better and we should be better. I certainly feel like we should be two or three points out of a playoff spot,” Murray said.
With that in mind, Murray admitted that he’s looking to add another top-six forward to the mix. He said he spent most of the day on Sunday, scouring the rosters of other NHL teams looking for a player who might be a good fit here in Ottawa.
“I’m going to continue to talk to people and search, but I know it’s going to be difficult,” said Murray – who said he would be willing to make a similar type of trade that landed him Bobby Ryan in the summer of 2013. “You pay a couple of chips to get an established guy who doesn’t fit into the cap of another team. I don’t think there’s a lot of them available, but we’re going to keep looking.”
As Murray searches for another top-six forward, he’s notified Colin Greening that he is actively looking to move him. Murray told TSN 1200 that Greening “just doesn’t fit right now with our group at this moment.”
He has given Greening’s agent permission to speak to other clubs to try and find a fit. But that might be difficult, considering he is in the first year of a three-year deal that will pay him $2.6 million annually and he’s been a healthy scratch more often than not this season. Greening has only scored one goal in 20 games in the 2014-15 campaign.
“I told him basically that I had talked to a number of GMs and I tried to encourage them to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle that may be. At this point there’s nothing for him.
Murray indicated that he would likely place Greening on waivers after the All-Star break if no deal can be worked out with another club.
“Eventually, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd or 24th guy on the roster here, so I may have to put him on waivers,” said Murray.