Senators not to consider trading despite slow start, GM says

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The Ottawa Senators are not in the market to trade for help despite their struggles, general manager Pierre Dorion said on Saturday.

The Senators (6-15-1) have 13 points, the second shortest in the NHL after a 6-5 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche at home on Saturday.

“I don’t think it really brings anything here to make a trade and give up, like, a big future play for immediate success,” Dorion said. “I don’t think that’s enough. Especially if this player won’t be here for the long term.”

Dorion said he had received calls from other general managers attempting to trade, but had resisted the action. He said he expects Ottawa to find its way through the final three quarters of the season, especially if it can get healthy.

“I’m not going to lie to anyone here, I’ve had a few sleepless nights,” Dorion said. “I didn’t appreciate that part of our team, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. The players play hard, but sometimes the players do not reach their potential, and they know it too.

“And the responsibility ends with me. And I’m not afraid to say it. We didn’t foresee this, but we’re going to fight through it.”

Dorion said a player who didn’t realize his potential was the goalkeeper Matt Murray, who was sent to Belleville from the American Hockey League on Nov. 28 after being placed on waivers the day before.

The 27-year-old, who won the Stanley Cup twice (2016, 2017) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, posted a 0-5-0 record with a 3.26 goals-against average and a lower percentage. ‘890 saves with the Senators this season, after going 10-13-1 with a 3.38 GAA and 0.893 save percentage in 27 games (25 starts) last season. He is in the second season of a four-year, $ 25 million contract (average annual value of $ 6.25 million) he signed on October 9, 2020, two days after he was acquired as part of ‘a transaction with the Penguins.

Dorion said he felt a change was needed not only to help Murray find his game, but also to try to improve Ottawa’s overall defensive play.

“I want to be fair to Matt,” Dorion said. “What I felt, as the general manager of the team, was that it had to be done.

“I think he knows he has to be better. And at some point, he’ll be back in Ottawa.

Injuries also contributed to the Senators’ disappointing start.

Center Colin Blanc is expected to be out until March after injuring his shoulder on Oct.7. Center Shane Pinto injured his shoulder on October 21, underwent surgery on November 24 and will be absent for 4 to 6 months. Cheeky Josh brown suffered an upper body injury on November 25 and could return in January. Defender Erik Brannstrom could return by Christmas after breaking his hand on November 13.

“The way our team is built, and I don’t want to repeat it, lose [Pinto and White] was monumental for us, ”said Dorion. “And when we’ve projected our team… sometimes you can plan to lose a guy for 10 games, but at the same time when you plan to lose both guys for the majority of the year, we’re going to suffer, and all the same. time.

“You know, you can go out and have trades where you sacrifice important pieces of your future for immediate help. But I don’t think that was part of the plan. It’s not something we can consider doing. . “

Instead, Dorion said he wants everyone in the organization to look in the mirror and find a way to be better.

“A lot of players on this team have underperformed this year,” he said. “The players have to step up. I think the coaching staff needs to step up, maybe the GM and management need to step up. We all have to be better. But I still think there is a lot of hockey left.

“Winning five out of 21 games isn’t exactly where we want it to be. It’s not what we expected, especially after how we finished last year (23-28-5, of which 9-2-1 to end the season). For me the most important thing is that we have to get this team back on the way to victory. We made some drastic decisions. But we think this team will start playing again. hockey that she’s capable of playing. “

NHL.com Independent Correspondent Callum Fraser contributed to this report


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