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Bryan Murray suggests that Ottawa should move forward after getting the last last word on Alfredsson

After fourteen updates to the Daniel Alfredsson presser entry, OF COURSE Senators GM Bryan Murray had to do nothing less than speak to OttawaSenators.com's Chris Lund to set the record "straight" regarding what Murray seems to believe was misdirection by Alfredsson's agent, J.P. Barry...

On the Alfredsson situation: Well, again, I'm disappointed that Daniel Alfredsson left to go to Detroit. I'm disappointed to hear that contract issues were something important to him that he didn't feel we were trying to accommodate. I think in every shape and form we wanted this man back to be the captain of our hockey team and it didn't work out. Sometimes in negotiating all the facts aren't maybe presented to the player the right way, but we certainly feel bad that Daniel reacted the way he did today.

On why the contract wasn't signed: I thought that JP Barry and I had a good meeting in Montreal prior to the draft. We both presented numbers that I was led to believe, from talking to JP on the following Tuesday, that he was going to talk to Daniel Alfredsson and come back to me with a number that was the right number for them to stay in Ottawa and play. I waited for that to happen, I was told that would happen — not that I was supposed to present another number — but it was supposed to be the other way, I told him I didn't want to get into a long winded negotiation session about Daniel Alfredsson. I felt he deserved more credit than that. Tell me the right number and we would meet it.

And this is just precious:

On last summer's negotiations: The thing I remember about it very clearly was Daniel came to me in Vegas and indicated that he wanted to play this past year and one more year and I was very happy to hear that and I said, "That's something we'll certainly work very hard at getting done." When I talked to his agent following that meeting in Vegas, again it came out that he would play for $1 million, which was his contract this past year, but $8 million would be what he expects so that they get a level number over the two year period. I felt at that time we couldn't proceed at that number and Daniel came in to my office and suggested he would play the year and see what he wanted to do after that.

On this year's negotiations:  Well, again, Daniel was going back to Sweden to spend part of his summer with his family. He came into my office the Thursday — I think he left on a Monday — it was the week before the draft, told me he needed some time to decide if he wanted to continue playing at the NHL level. I did not hear and I did not ask for an answer, as I didn't the previous year, until he was ready to give it to me. On the Friday before the NHL draft there was a statement that came out of Sweden that indicated he wanted to come back and play in the National Hockey League — we assumed meaning the Ottawa Senators. I met with JP Barry on the Saturday afternoon prior to the draft. He put a number of $7 million on a one year contract or two years at $12 million — $5 million and $5 million, plus a $2 million signing bonus — I made an offer at that time of $4.5 million. We indicated and I indicated to him that his number didn't work and he said my number didn't work. We agreed that we would talk during the draft, which didn't happen. The next conversation with him was the Tuesday following the draft. He asked me what our bottom line number would be. I suggested that wasn't the approach we should take. I asked him to talk to Daniel to find out a real number that he would play in Ottawa for, be it a one or two year deal, and we would talk and, I felt, make it happen. Eugene (Melnyk) had made it very clear that he wanted to bring Daniel back so I was assuming that we would get close to the number he has now taken in Detroit. I waited — he (Barry) said he needed to talk to Daniel about that — I waited Wednesday, I did not hear back. Allison Vaughan phoned his office four or five times on Thursday. I finally sent him an e-mail to indicate my phone number for the evening. At 8:40 that evening, actually, I got a call from Daniel telling me that he was investigating either Boston or Detroit — he didn't tell me which team at that point — he told me he thought there was a better chance to win a Stanley Cup on a more veteran team. That he felt we were going to be at the low cap and, therefore, not going to be able to sign another veteran or two and that was the last I heard until he signed with Detroit.


On the Sens moving forward: First of all I have to say that I have great respect for Daniel Alfredsson. I have admiration in that he was a great player on the ice. He was a good captain in the room. He spent a lot of time talking to me and our management people. He cared greatly about the organization. I have to wish him all the luck in the world and hope that he fulfills a dream that we all have in this business and that's to win. But, from our point of view, we have a rookie camp coming up in about three weeks. We have NHL camp starting. We're left with, I think, a real good nucleus of players. We've made a couple of additions so we have to all move on. For us to go back and forth about who said what is unfair to both parties and I'd prefer to wish Daniel good luck and get on with our business of having a very good, competitive hockey club in Ottawa.

Only after spending all day going "back and forth." Uh huh.

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I’m sorry, but if the Sens really wanted to make sure they got Alfredsson back they would have and could have.  Murray’s whole “I was waiting to hear back and didn’t” crap is laughable.  Maybe as a GM you try to be just a touch proactive in your job?

Truly though, from everything I’ve read the problem is Melnyk; too involved and probably sets too many restrictions on Murray who’s not going to throw Melnyk under the bus.  Alfredsson plays for several years getting paid less than he’s worth and he finds a way to make it work.  But now when he wants to get paid more than he’s worth for a year or two it doesn’t work for the Sens.  It obviously has nothing to do with the cap, so it can only be that Melnyk has the purse strings cinched up tighter than the collective sphincter of the Red Wing Live Blog community during a third period Budd Lynch minute with a one goal lead.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 08/15/13 at 05:47 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I am just very Happy that the Wings have Illitch, Holland, Babcock and others.  Some sorry ass teams are suffering short and long term for a reason.

Wings Lifer

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/15/13 at 07:08 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Murray has changed his story a million times during this debacle, from how many times he talked to Alfie, how much money they were willing to spend, to when they decided to go after Ryan.

One thing is clear, long time Captains and players that have played for one team their entire careers don’t switch teams over a “misunderstanding.”  The writing is on the wall with Melnyk, and Alfie read a got out while he could.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 08/15/13 at 07:40 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Alfie read a got out while he could.

...read it and got out….

parents in town for the week, my brain is mush

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 08/15/13 at 07:44 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Or you could not try and lowballl the guy who has been the heart and soul of your team for his entire career.  That’s and idea.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/15/13 at 09:06 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Or you could not try and lowballl the guy who has been the heart and soul of your team for his entire career.  That’s and idea.

Yes.  This.  Alfredsson played for $1M last year because it was supposed to be a throwaway year, but wasn’t.  He played well (certainly above his salary level).  Is he worth $7M for a season?  Probably not.  Is he worth $8M for two?  Certainly.

Murray’s statement should have been “We’re grateful for his play over the years, and for the millions of dollars worth of hometown discounts he gave us over that time.  Because he showed he was willing to play for less than market value, we decided to never pay him market value, even when he said that was what he wanted.”

Posted by Savage Henry on 08/15/13 at 09:41 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

^^ that

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 08/16/13 at 12:24 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

(and btw the new rivalry is on)

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 08/16/13 at 12:24 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

As I suggested in George’s post about Alfie’s presser, the guy came to the conclusion that Melnyk’s (and, apparently, Murray’s) word was worthless. So he signed with a team where the owner and the GM could be trusted implicitly.

Alfie gave his all in Ottawa, and their billionaire owner tried to nickel and dime him. So he packed up his belongings and moved his family someplace where he knew he’d be respected. Good for him. Good for the Wings. And good for us as fans. I can’t wait to see him in the Winged Wheel.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/16/13 at 12:27 AM ET


There’s clearly blame both ways.  If what Murray says is true he was being nothing but respectful in waiting for Alfredsson to call him back.  The last thing you want to do is hound a guy who is on the fence.

On the other hand, again if what Murray says is true, Barry asked what Ottawa’s “bottom line number” would be.  If Murray had given Barry an answer, even if it was lower than what Alfredsson would ideally have liked, it’s very possible Alfredsson would’ve taken it.  Murray dropped the ball by not answering that.

But then again, $7M for one season is ridiculous, as is $12M for two.  If Detroit had given Alfredsson either of those number they would’ve been stupid too.  To even use that as a starting point would be ludicrous.  If Alfredsson had decided to look at Detroit or Boston and came to them with either of those numbers he would’ve likely not heard those GMs laughing because the phone would’ve been slammed down before the first guffaw ever escaped their lips.

So yeah, if Ottawa really wanted him they could’ve done it, but at the same time if he really wanted to play in Ottawa and be reasonable, he could’ve made it happen too.

we decided to never pay him market value, even when he said that was what he wanted.

Really?  The first two years following the the salary cap rollback his contract was between $6M and $7M, and the first two years of his last contract had him earning him $7M each.  He was “never” making market value, huh?  How much do you delusionally think he was worth?

Posted by Garth on 08/16/13 at 01:29 AM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

Like I stated before: the only reason that the senators are worth anything in 2013 isn’t because of karlsson or spezza.  Or Yashin.  Or Hossa.  Or Sillinger.  Or Chara.  Or Heatley.  Or Lapointe.  Or Klinkhammer (guess which two names I love).

Ottawa still has a franchise because of Daniel Alfredsson.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 08/16/13 at 02:53 AM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

I can not wait to see what an even-more-driven Alfredsson will accomplish this season.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 08/16/13 at 02:59 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.