One day down at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
One more day without a Dany Heatley for Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray.
Try as he might, Murray was unable to move the two-time 50-goal scorer as the rumours and speculation heightened on the first day of the draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal. So Heatley, who requested a trade to another National Hockey League team more than two weeks ago, remains with the Senators for at least another day.
Probably more than that, to hear Murray tell it after he'd made Spokane Chiefs defenceman Jared Cowen
the No. 9 pick of the draft.
"A couple of teams I talked to previously were just beating around the bush, it appears right now," said Murray as the first round of the draft wound down. "We’ll certainly get through tonight without anything happening, I would assume.
"I think there’s a better offer needed, certainly. I’ve made a couple of requests. I think I’ve been quite fair, really. I know I can’t get a match for Dany Heatley — I know that for a fact — but I want to get some fair value and if I don’t, though, I’ve made it clear that we’ll have to work it out somehow afterwards."
While Murray held talks with several teams, a trade never came close to materializing.
"We’ve talked a lot but we never really had any inkling that tonight we would do the deal," he said. "It never came to that at all.
"I believe it’s possible (to make a deal) but it’s not so much the contract (which has five years remaining on it) that’s in play here. There’s a calibre of player in play and I’ve got to protect the organization. That’s what I’m trying to do."Leclaire’s recovery still going well
With the NHL entry draft right in his backyard, Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire made an appearance at the Bell Centre for Friday night’s first round. Before the draft proceedings began, Leclaire told Ottawa media his recovery from ankle surgery continues to be right on track.
“There’s no issues and I’m feeling pretty good,” said Leclaire, who was acquired by the Senators in a March 4 trade that sent Antoine Vermette to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Leclaire expects to start skating in mid-July, which is right on schedule for the 26-year-old native of Repentigny, Que. Other than adding yoga to his training routine, it’s business as usual for the Sens’ new No. 1 stopper.
“The only thing is, there’s a little more upkeep,” he said. “It’s part of a routine, a little more stretches, trying to ice it a bit and stuff like that. It’s just normal stuff, the same thing I’ve been doing to my knees for three years. You’re more aware of it.
“The big thing is to make sure everything is strong and you keep it strong. It just adds a little more to my workouts, just little exercises to make sure everything is strong, but it doesn’t bother me at all.”