The Ottawa Senators announced that they extended the contract General Manager Bryan Murray on Monday for two years, taking his deal through the end of July 2016. Upon the conclusion of the extension in 2016, Murray will stay on with the team in an advisory role.
In tandem with the extension, the Sens also announced that Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee will take on the role of Assistant General Managers, filling the vacancy left by Tim Murray who was hired as GM of the Buffalo Sabres last week.
Here's what Sens owner Eugene Melnyk had to say about today's announcement:
“I am very pleased to have Bryan remain here in Ottawa for the next four years. Without question, Bryan stands among the best general managers in the National Hockey League,” said Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk. “Our drafting success and the emergence of so many young, dynamic players within our organization is a testament to Bryan’s leadership and wealth of hockey knowledge.”
“In addition, Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee have made significant contributions to our club’s many achievements in scouting, drafting and player development,” said Melnyk. “Bryan and I believe both Pierre and Randy have more than earned the opportunity to take on more senior roles in hockey operations. I want to congratulate Pierre and Randy on their expanded mandates serving together as our team’s assistant general managers.”
The roles of Dorion and Lee will break down as follows:
Dorion will be responsible for contracts and salary arbitration as well as managing the Senators professional and amateur scouting staffs. Dorion will also oversee all facets of evaluation for players both inside and outside of the organization.
Lee’s new role will see him become General Manager of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. Lee will also be responsible for contracts and a variety of tasks involving player development, including the management of the hockey team’s budgets and overseeing the development of players throughout the team’s system, including prospects at the AHL, collegiate, junior hockey and European league levels.
Sens TV spoke to Bryan Murray about the announcement on Monday. Here's what he had to say:
Sens TV also caught up with Pierre Dorion in Minnesota to talk about his promotion to Assistant General Manager.
Randy Lee spoke to reporters in Ottawa on Monday after being named Assistant General Manager. Here's what he had to say...
On the promotion:
I think when the opportunity came up I was interested and I talked to Bryan about that — both Pierre and I said that it's something to evolve into. Based on my history here I've just gone along the course and Bryan has presented me with new challenges and I've embraced those challenges and I think I have earned his trust.
On the differences from his previous role:
I don't want to give that (player development) and I told Bryan that's very important to me. That's my strength and that's the best way I can help this organization, but when we worked before with Pierre and Tim, Tim gave us a lot of autonomy, he supported us so it's a great working relationship. Now it's just a matter of taking on some of his duties.
On his involvement with Binghamton:
I have had that role in the past, I've dealt with Luke (Richardson) and Steve (Stirling) on a daily basis and that goes back over the years through my development role. Now it's just a bit more intensive.
On the excitement of taking on the role:
It's really exciting for me because Bryan and I go back a long way, I was part of his coaching staff that was three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup. We both have the same passion, we know how hard it is to win, we both have the same passion and being local guys that's important for us. We want to win in this city.
Sens owner Eugene Melnyk had this to add during this morning's conference call.
On many levels today's announcement comes as no surprise. As outlined in the news release issued earlier this morning I'm very pleased to announce that Bryan and I have agreed to a four-year contract extension that will see him continue as our club's general manager for the next two years. Bryan has also agreed to continue to be a significant part of our hockey operations by agreeing to remain with us in an advisory capacity for an additional two years. Bryan stands amongst the best general managers in the National Hockey League and I want to thank him for his commitment to be part of our organization for four more years. My view, for many many years, has been to ensure our club builds a strong set of core competencies in drafting well and then on placing a sharp focus on how we develop those young prospects and players. From the rise of Erik Karlsson as one of the top defencemen in the league to the most recent outstanding performance of Curtis Lazar at the World Juniors, the impact of our drafting and player development is, without question, a very significant part of our efforts to bring us closer to our goal of winning a Stanley Cup for our city and for our fans.
Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee are synonymous with our acheivements in drafting and player development, respectively. Both have developed outstanding reputations across the National Hockey League and the hockey world for their hard work and professionalism. The decision to promote Pierre and Randy to be our assistant general managers was a very decision for me and Bryan and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both of them on this well deserved opportunity.
I would like to take a moment to acknowledge our entire hockey operations group. The fact that we are able to promote to outstanding individuals to take over as assistant general managers truly speaks to the fantastic job Bryan has done in assembling such a strong collection of hockey minds. From our coaches to our medical and training staff to our 13 pro and amateur scouts, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of them for hard work and continued commitment to our organization.
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