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Senators GM Murray set to trade Lehner or Anderson

by Arpon Basu

LAS VEGAS -- Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray still intends to trade one of his goaltenders, either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson, but does not know if it will happen at the 2015 NHL Draft that begins Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and ends Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN1, TVA Sports).

But whenever it happens, Murray already knows the trade will not sit well with him.

"It's not going to be a satisfactory deal, there's no question," Murray said following the general managers' meeting Tuesday. "I'm not going to get what I think I should get."

Murray said the teams inquiring about his goaltenders have tended to be more interested in Lehner, 23, than Anderson, 34, and he anticipates Lehner is the more likely of the two to be traded. Whoever is left in Ottawa will claim the starter's role, with this season's sensation, Andrew Hammond, serving as backup.

Murray described the current goalie trade market as consisting of three goaltenders and a couple of interested teams. If you count Anderson and Lehner as one of those three, the other two would likely be Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers and either Eddie Lack or Jacob Markstrom of the Vancouver Canucks.

Murray didn't say so, but the two interested teams he was referring to could be the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres; each has identified goaltending as a clear need.

Murray said he feels teams should be interested in the player he is offering, and that player appears to be Lehner, not Anderson.

"I think we should be the first choice, I think we've got the best guy," Murray said. "That’s my feeling, and I'm very strong about that, but maybe not everybody looks at it that way. People look at the price and maybe look at other things, but Robin Lehner is a hell of a goaltender. He's going to perform given a chance, whether it be him getting the chance right away either with us or another team, he's going to be a good goaltender."

Murray said the reason more teams are asking about Lehner than Anderson is the price, in terms of the salaries of the two players and what Murray is asking in return for each of them. Lehner carries a salary cap charge $2.225 million for two more seasons; Anderson has three years remaining at $4.2 million.

"A team on the rise would much prefer a young guy to grow with the team is the indication I get," Murray said.

Murray has been in this situation before, which is probably why he has a good idea of how it will turn out.

At the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, Murray traded Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick in that year's draft, which turned into Tobias Lindberg, a decent forward prospect.

Bishop just led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Final, and Concacher played one more season with the Senators organization before being placed on waivers.

"With Bishop, we knew exactly what we had … a great guy, a good goaltender, he played terrific for us," Murray said. "We had three goaltenders and we had no choice. We have three goaltenders now and we have to make a change.

"But whatever guy you move has a great value. Hammond came in and played great, Robin is a young guy that hasn't really had the net to himself and Craig Anderson is proven to be a very good goaltender in the NHL. So whatever move I make, in two years you guys can write, 'How dumb could Murray have been to make that deal?' That's what it is."

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