Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray conducted his end-of-year press conference on Tuesday morning and addressed several of the situations the organization faces this summer.
In terms of upgrading the team's roster, Murray expressed a desire to improve the forward group with a legitimate scorer. This is no surprise. For much of 2013, Murray made that claim. However, the general manager previously seemed hesitant to move young prospects to do so. If his statements on Tuesday are earnest, he no longer holds that same perspective and expressed a willingness to package prospects this offseason. The manager also stated the team could look to upgrade the offense via free agency.
The Senators have six pending-unrestricted free agents currently on the roster, which includes: Andre Benoit, Daniel Alfredsson, Guillaume Latendresse, Mike Lundin, Peter Regin and Sergei Gonchar. Murray stated that he has made up his mind on Latendresse, Lundin and Regin, but will meet with them before making any announcements. In addition, the manager plans to meet with Gonchar and his representation. This has led to speculation about the likelihood of those four players returning next season.
Obviously, Alfredsson is the big question mark moving into the offseason. The captain is at the end of his career and potentially could retire. Murray stated that he ideally would like to know Alfredsson's plans prior to the start of free agency on July 5. However, he is ready to give him as much time as he needs to make up his mind. He does not anticipate that money will be an issue in retaining Alfredsson if he does decide to return.
According to Murray, a top-priority this summer will be re-signing head coach Paul MacLean to an extension. MacLean is entering the final year of his contract, and Murray apparently wants to explore the possibility of adding more years to the deal.
In terms of his own contract situation, Murray is entering the final year of his contract in 2013-14. He plans to honor the deal but will need to speak with his wife before making up his mind about an extension.