Sens GM Bryan Murray was on-hand for today's announcements — Bobby Ryan's extension and Erik Karlsson's captaincy — and offered his thoughts to media afterwards. Here's what he had to say...
On Karlsson being humbled by being named captain:
I think it's an honour, he took it as that when I asked him yesterday, "do you really want to be the captain?" He grabbed it very quickly. It is an honour, in particular for young players. I remember back in the Steve Yzerman days, all those young people who are talented people recognized there are other people who are older and have been around and maybe should be considered more but I think in the long run it's a privilege, an honour and a responsibility. That's what we're putting in his hands.
On what they want from Karlsson as captain:
Just be Erik Karlsson. If he's Erik Karlsson as we know him on the ice, he'll be a very effective player and a very good person who emulates all the other guys coming along. The other part I want is I want him to take ownership of the team, to be on top of issues, to make sure the staff and players relate and if there are issues make sure they're addressed, not delayed. I think Erik is one of those forthright people that if there's a question he's going to ask the question and expect an answer.
On the Ryan extension:
I tried to take that story out of your hands here in Ottawa because it was an every day issue. We had been talking to Bobby for quite some time, he just wanted to take a little bit of time and make sure that for him he was comfortable with where he fit here. I think he is that. We know he's a good player, we know he's an important player for us, we know goals are hard to come by in the National Hockey League and if you don't have that kind of player in your lineup over the course of time it makes it difficult to win games. I think Bobby has shown that he can be that goal scorer in the moment in the important part of a game that can help us win.
On what changed with negotiations with Ryan:
I think just conversations. We talked to Newport, Don Meehan in particular and Mark Guy, on this case as much as anything and we kept encouraging him to talk to us more about getting a deal done. I think all along they wanted that to be the case but, as I said, I think Bobby wanted to get back here, see where he fit, feel comfortable again, know where we're going, look at the young people coming in. I think we all want to be winners and I think Bobby is one of those guys who wanted to see that we were ready to commit to being a winning team and I think we've made it very clear that is the case.
On the exit meetings with Karlsson last season:
Most of the meetings that I've had started at the exit meetings. Some people made promises to me and I'm going to get them to follow up with them. Erik, I know we had long serious conversations that I had with Don Meehan as well about leadership, responsibility, the age, the experience. There was a tough decision to make here. We had a couple of other guys here that are very responsible veteran players. We felt that we had to turn the team over to a guy that could carry this team for a number of years and not be changing every year or two with the captain's role. Erik really indicated to me and over the summer the few times we talked, he sure sounded like a guy that wanted responsibility, wanted to be a different team than last year and came into camp and has shown that. I think he's back where he can be as a player and I think he'll show he can take charge of helping us be a real good team over the course of time.
On what makes a good captain:
Responsible people, people that take ownership, people that work hard every day, people that aren't afraid to share themselves with their teammates, people that aren't afraid to step up to coaches or management and ask for things that players feel they need at a given time. I think it's an all-around person. First of all I think you need to show on the ice that you're willing to work and play and play at a good level. You have to take coaching. You have to be willing to make adjustments in a game to show your teammates you're willing to do that. You have to be willing to show your teammates you really care. If you really care they'll follow you. Erik has certainly indicated to me, not just this year but over time that he cares about this organization, he cares about this town and he's going to take ownership. With Chris and Chris I think we're going to have a good core now, I think we're going to be responsible and I think they'll hold people accountable.
On if there's an update on Methot negotiations:
No, is Marc still here? I haven't seen him on the ice for a few days. I've sent another offer, we're trying to indicate to Marc that we'd really like to sign him and keep him here, there's no other intent on our part, but I haven't heard back from his agent.
On alleviating the fear of losing stars with the announcements:
For our sake, for the hockey team's sake, sure for the fans as well we want to indicate to them that players want to be in Ottawa, they want to be a good player in Ottawa, they want the recognition of being an important player on a good team. All along that has been our intent with Turris, MacArthur, now Bobby Ryan, Erik, we've got a number of other guys, we're trying to get Marc Methot signed. We are trying to do things to show that this team is a secure team and we just have to add to it as it goes forward. Hopefully that happens fairly quickly for everybody's sake.