|Whether a Dany Heatley trade goes down or not at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Senators expect to get a quality prospect with their first-round pick (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).
Maybe he'll help improve the Ottawa Senators' position in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Or maybe he won't.
But regardless of whether there's a Dany Heatley deal to be had in the next few days, Senators general manager Bryan Murray says it'll be business as usual when it comes to this weekend's draft in Montreal. Meaning the club will forge ahead with plans to take the best available player with the ninth selection of the first round.
While moving Heatley – who has requested a trade – might possibly bring the Senators a higher spot during Friday night's first round at the Bell Centre, Murray isn't counting on it.
"The draft will be totally separate (from a Heatley deal), I believe," Murray told the media earlier today. "Nobody has come to me and said they'll give me a high, high pick at this point in time.
"I've had a couple of teams (currently picking) before us show some interest but until I know what I have in my hand, it's not going to affect us."
And it won't shake the Senators' intent to stick with their draft philosophy.
"Before this ever came up, we had our (draft prospect) list. We go by our list," said Murray. "We know who we like. There are eight guys before us. If one of them slides to the ninth spot, we're going to take him at that time. We know who we'd like to get. It's just a matter of whether we'll be lucky enough to get him.
"We're going to get a good player, without a doubt. Whether he plays (in the National Hockey League) this year is not point. We're going to get a good player. I know the top three (John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene) are getting a lot of ink and they should – they're very good players. But we're going to get a good candidate picking at nine."
Assistant general manager Tim Murray admitted moving up in the first round won't be an easy chore, given the top-end talent available at the very top of what is considered to be a deep draft by most scouts around the NHL.
"I think we'll get a better idea when we get down there about what teams are willing to do," he said. "It's going to be tough moving into the top five or six but I think if you make a good enough offer, you force teams to think about it. My feeling is (moving up) will be tough but we'll see when we get there and you're actually talking to someone face to face."
"Before this ever came up, we had our (draft prospect) list. We go by our list. We know who we like. There are eight guys before us. If one of them slides to the ninth spot, we're going to take him at that time. We know who we'd like to get. It's just a matter of whether we'll be lucky enough to get him." - Bryan Murray
On the Heatley front, while Bryan Murray revealed "one team is getting close to where I want to be," he said no trade is imminent. He remains optimistic something could happen when league GMs gather in Montreal for the draft.
"Managers in this league know this is a good hockey player," said Murray. "They know there are some circumstances, it would appear, that made (Heatley) want a trade. So if they want to add this kind of talent to their team, they know there's a price.
"I guess I could take an offer that has been made but it's not the one that I want right now ... I'm trying to get back as best a player as I can and some other parts to it."
Murray remains optimistic that he'll soon get the right offer for Heatley.
"I've always felt this way: If you want a player, you'll make the offer to get the player," he said. "If you don't really care about getting him, you'll probably negotiate back and forth on a lesser scale. Someone's going to have to make up their mind – and I'm sure they will – that they want to make a trade and they want (Heatley) because he's a good addition to their hockey team and I will get an offer that I have to consider."