"I've talked to Columbus about him," Murray said several hours before the start of the first round of the NHL Draft. "It's whether we want to go forward or not. But at the moment we're still talking."
"We still have a ways to go," Howson said.
Murray says his interest in Nash could fast-track the process of building a Stanley Cup contender in Ottawa, a status he feels his team is close to reaching after its surprising playoff berth this past season.
"The hope is to be good next year," Murray said. "We can all say five years down the road we're going to be very good, but I'd like to be as good as we can be in the very near future. It doesn't change the process, but it hurries it up if we get an impact player.
"My job is to investigate every opportunity to get better."
The Senators currently hold the 15th pick in Friday night's first round of the Draft, but they don't hold another pick until the third round.
And while Murray was very candid about his interest in Nash, he was just as forthright when asked if he had made any calls to Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray regarding forward Bobby Ryan, who is also rumored to be on the trade block.
"Bobby Ryan? He plays for Anaheim?" Murray said. "I don't know anything about him other than he's a good player. I haven't talked to anyone about him."