Bryan Murray confirms contract extension talks are serious

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray acknowledges his good fortune in being allowed to stay in the National Hockey League for 33 years.

It looks like he’ll be around the Ottawa Senators for at least a couple more years.

 

NASHVILLE – Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray acknowledges his good fortune in being allowed to stay in the National Hockey League for 33 years.

It looks like he’ll be around the Ottawa Senators for at least a couple more years.

Murray confirmed here Saturday that contract extension talks with owner Eugene Melnyk have become serious. A new deal could be announced soon.

“In the pre-season, we had some discussions and we decided, both parties, really, to kind of wait and see what I wanted to do, and probably what they wanted to do, to some degree,” Murray said before the Senators pre-game skate in advance of Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators.

Murray, 71, says the game helps keep him young and he has been revived by the strength of the prospects within the organization.

“It’s a great business to be in,” he said. “We think we have a real growing franchise here, with a lot of kids in the program and on the way up, so it would be hard (to leave). There’s no question there’s a time (for retirement), but hopefully this isn’t my time.”

While Murray has been motivated by how the organization has been able to rebuild the depth within the organization, the end goal is always winning the Stanley Cup.

“I think that (watching the development) is the incentive, but there are other incentives, of course. You want to be in position to win. You want to win at the end of the year. We are getting better. We think we’re getting better. With the young group coming, we feel we have real possibilities, so there has been a lot of effort, a lot of challenges, a lot of up and downs, but we think we’re on the right track now.”

Senators captain Jason Spezza is encouraged that Murray still wants to be involved.

“It’s good to see he still has a passion to do it and we enjoy having him around,” said Spezza.

“He’s sharp, he’s witty, he’s guy that has been around the game a long time, but I don’t think he’s tired. He doesn’t miss much.”

Spezza says his connection with Murray is a little more involved because Murray also served as head coach of the team from 2004-07 before taking on the general manager’s role. That stretch behind the bench included the Senators long playoff run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007.

“When you have that coach-player relationship, it’s a little different than a regular player-manager relationship,” he said. “I probably talk to Bryan more than I would talk to just a normal general manager.”

Spezza knows, more than anyone, just how biting Murray’s sarcasm can be.

“I like his sarcasm,” Spezza said with a laugh. “When he coached me, I was the brunt of most of the sarcasm. So, I’ve seen it first hand.”

 

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