Bryan Murray has admitted through the media that he would like to move up at this year's NHL Draft from their current 17th overall draft selection.
It's not really a shocking development since every team would like to move up at the draft to acquire a player who the organization believes not only has more upside but better odds of reaching his talent's ceiling. It's a comfort thing.
As I've noted pretty regularly in the past, one of the consequences of the salary cap era is that teams have become reluctant to part with their young players. Part of the reasoning for this is because history showing that a player's most productive years are in the vicinity of 23 to 27 years of age.
Thanks to the 2004/05 lockout resulting in a CBA in which players hit unrestricted free agency earlier, for better or worse, organizations have felt the pressure to lock up their youngest players; regardless of whether these young players were key building blocks that you can construct a team around.
Of course, one of the complications of this development is that it has become increasingly difficult to find elite talent on the free agent market. To get it, teams have to draft or trade for it; so from this perspective, listening to Bryan Murray openly discuss his desire to move up makes sense.
The Senators have an abundance of riches within their system -- and if you can believe some internet rumour mongering on Hfboards that Jarrod Maidens has returned to health and will be participating in Owen Sound's training camp in the fall, it's only going to get stronger -- but in terms of projectable elite talent that will help move the Senators from a playoff team to a Stanley Cup contender, they're lacking a stud forward to complement Lehner and Karlsson.
Pierre Dorion has already cautioned fans against the unrealistic probability that the team can trade up to the top of the draft class, but a number of third party scouting services have already identified four or five talented forwards who have separated themselves from the rest of this year's draft class.
Maybe Ottawa can move up in the draft, but without a second rounder -- it was moved towards the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline for Ben Bishop -- it means that the Senators will likely have to parlay another young asset or two with their first rounder to entice some team to talk shop.
Whether Murray find someone to bite remains to be seen, but according to the Bruce Garrioch's article
from earlier this week, he'll do his best to try.
"I will call a number more and see if anybody wants to move," said Murray. "There are certain reasons to move fairly high and if you don't do that, then maybe we're OK where we are.
"I have talked and nobody has really gotten back to me. I don't suspect that anybody will be willing to move down, but you never know. We might have an asset that would address a need."
At the very least, Murray's following the Colorado Avalanche's lead in using the mainstream media as a mechanism to let teams know they're interested and open to making a move.
Melnyk Issues Threat
Unhappy with the possibility that the City of Ottawa could very well decide to sole-source the location of a prospective Ottawa casino, Eugene Melnyk lobbed
a verbal grenade at City Council.
“Unless things change, it doesn’t bode well for my continued investment here at all.”
Having already lost out on an opportunity to build an MLS stadium in close proximation to what was then named Scotiabank Place, the placement of a casino in this area could help bring more people and more importantly, money into the mix. It's a concept that is not lost on Melnyk.
"The cross-pollination of getting people into the arena would solve a lot of our marketing problems."
Sure, but so would ditching those embarrassingly bad home and away jerseys.
I don't want to get ahead of myself and think about what a prospective casino could do to help boost this team's finances, but it's easy to recognize that Ottawa has gone from a cap threshold team to one that hovers near the cap floor. Now some of that has to do with their decision to trim the fat and rebuild, but there's still some uncertainty as to how high the team's payroll can go.
During his end of the season address, Bryan Murray indicated that the organization was in the early stages of developing its budget for player payroll, but he also indicated that it would not be one that flirts with the cap ceiling.
As an organizationthat has made a habit of expressing that payroll will likely never match those of the Rangers or Maple Leafs for example, any additional revenue streams would be welcomed; assuming of course, payroll would be one area where any extra revenue would be allocated - of which there is absolutely no guarantee.