Seeing the Ottawa Senators
sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference with less than a week to go until the trade deadline is a major surprise. How they handle the next few days also could be a surprise.
"I don't know that we're doing anything," Senators general manager Bryan Murray told reporters when asked about his plans heading into the Feb. 27 trade deadline. "A lot of managers seem to be like me -- they're not sure what they want to do. They're in the race but they're not convinced if they're going to be around, so we're all trying to be somewhat cautious."
The Senators enter Tuesday seventh in the East with 70 points, but they're just two points behind fourth-place New Jersey.
Ottawa has hung around the top eight in the conference for most of the season, and after a seven-game winless skid around the All-Star break, they've rebounded to win four of their last five and three straight.
Murray said he'd like to add depth to his team, but wouldn't go into detail as to what area of his club he'd like to add it to. He said he's not actively working on anything, but said he's had phone calls with numerous teams.
"I've talked to a couple teams that look like they're ready to trade people away and asked for a particular name," he said. "And in turn I've had calls were we've talked about, could we get this guy or that guy, what the price would be. I can't be really definite because there's nothing definite I could get."
Murray said ideally he'd make a deal similar to the one he made in December with Phoenix for center Kyle Turris
"That's the kind of trade we'd like to make," said Murray. "If we can get a younger play coming in that can help us now but has a good future going forward, that's the type of thing I'd much like to do more than trade a younger player for an older guy that's unrestricted that you'll really have a hard time re-signing."
One name that Murray has heard mentioned in trade rumors is defenseman Filip Kuba
, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but Murray was quick to squash any talk of him moving the veteran blueliner. Kuba has 22 points and a team-best plus-18 rating while playing 23:30 per game.
"I think he's one of our best defensemen, if not our most steady guy at this point in time," said Murray. "He's played penalty kill, power play, he's been Erik Karlsson
's partner. He plays a lot of minutes, has great respect on the team. I'm not sure why his name has ever come up. At this point in time … unless I got something awfully, awfully good, it would do us no service to not keep him here."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK