Senators GM Bryan Murray held a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the club agreeing to terms with Clarke MacArthur on a five-year contract extension. Here's what he had to say...
On signing MacArthur:
We have a number of guys we're trying to do and Clarke appears to be one of the first. Obviously he played well, he's a real complement to our line with Kyle Turris last year and I think the big thing with him is he's such a character guy, he wanted to be in Ottawa. We had worked on this for a little while but at the end of the day Clarke's desire to be here and our happiness with his performance was a big reason to give him the term we did.
On if the length of the deal is necessary in the current market:
I don't know if there's a reason to do it other than if you like a player. He's an unrestricted free agent. I hear the comments and some people would question it, but as hockey people we think this is the kind of character we want in our room, the kind of player we have and it's obviously a commitment by Mr. Melnyk and the organization to lock up as many of our best players as we can. Guys we feel we can grow the organization with. Obviously Clarke, as I said, coming in last year and playing the way he did, but just as importantly to me, the character he brought to the room and the commitment he wanted to make. I guess that's the road today, the good players are getting this and if you want to keep them you have to do it.
On if there is room for MacArthur to grow:
I think he's going to be a little better player but obviously we're quite happy with what he did. If he's in that 20-25 goal range on a somewhat consistent basis and a real complement to those young players he'll end up playing at some point with them. He and Kyle Turris seem to fit like a glove but whoever plays on the right side will really benefit from playing with Clarke and Kyle. To me it really solidifies a good pair that will make our team be a consistent contender.
On the status of Bobby Ryan's contract:
I think all of these players that are going into their last year around the League, some of them will sign early because of the situation and the contract they're getting. Other people will wait a little bit. We've talked to Bobby at length through his agents. I believe it will take until he comes to Ottawa for training camp to continue the discussions. He's one of the next guys we're definitely going to try to keep here.
On if MacArthur will take a greater leadership role this year:
I don't know if he'll necessarily have a letter on his sweater but he behaves like a captain, he behaves like a core member in his first year in Ottawa. I really think that if you have five or six guys in your room that you consider core players, Clarke would fit in that category for sure.