When one of the rumoured candidates to take Bryan Murray’s General Manager job is talking some Senators hockey and addresses the rumours enshrouding Ottawa’s players, it’s worthwhile to take a listen to what he was saying. When an ESPN reporter mentions that he talks about Mike Fisher's availability in a trade, it becomes a must listen.
To listen to McGuire’s appearance on Montreal’s Team 990 station, you can click here or you can read the transcribed portion of his interview below.
Q: What's the mood like around the Sens?
A: I talked to 3 players today: One was Mike Fisher. The other was Alfredsson who I had the privilege of coaching earlier in his career and the third guy will remain nameless because he asked me not to talk about our conversation, so I won't talk about it.
But Mike Fisher I can tell you, and we're going to talk about it on the air today, this is the first time that he's ever heard his name in trade rumours. And I think that has causing some discomfort for him. He doesn't want to be traded out of Ottawa; he likes playing there. He's a proud guy. He was drafted by Ottawa in the second round out of Sudbury and the Sudbury Wolves. He's a guy who really cares about being part of the solution. He doesn't want to be part of the problem.
For Daniel Alfredsson, this is the worst that it's ever been since he's been a rookie. Ever since then, Ottawa's had relatively good runs and Daniel's been a big part of it. So his negativity is not nearly what I thought it would be because it's been a long time since he's experienced something like this. He wants again to be part of the reason why this gets fixed. He doesn't want to be part of the problem that causes it to get worse... But you can see that there's a lack of comfort for a lot of the guys.
Q: If you're an opposing GM right now Pierre. One through five and fitting a salary is not a concern and you have an opportunity to win a Cup, one through five who are the trade targets on Ottawa?
A: Well, Fisher would be one of them for sure. Mike brings a lot to the game. If he's your second or third center, you have a chance to win a lot of games. He's just a very useful player: he can kill penalties; he wins faceoffs; he has a very underrated shot - one of the hardest shots coming down the wing in the League. People don't talk about it but it's lethal. It's not always the most accurate but it's extremely hard.
Then I'd probably look at Chris Phillips, Sergei Gonchar... I got to believe that Daniel Alfredsson is untouchable on their team and Jason Spezza because of his contract and injury situation is untouchable. I think a player that is really important for a team that thinks they're a playoff team would be Milan Michalek. Milan had some really nice runs in San Jose... he's a proud guy. He's probably missing at least a step, maybe step and a half but that doesn't mean he can't play in key situations. But those are probably the top guys who I'd look at off of this roster.
Q: Was it wrong to expect more offensive scoring out of Michalek and Foligno?
A: No it was not wrong at all. Injuries have really decimated the one player, Milan Michalek, and then you look at the other player, Nick Foligno, based on what he did in the preseason and you had to expect that he's going to be an offensive player who can be very good at providing supplemental offense. There are expected evaluations that most people would have had around the league. It's unfortunate that it hasn't worked out better for either guy or the team but I would say that most people would have tell you that it was on target to expect secondary offense from those guys. And obviously they were hoping that Kovalev would have been a whole lot better than he has been but Kovalev not producing has really set them back a lot too.