Senators looking for scoring forward, interested in moving up in draft

Bruce Bennett

The Ottawa Senators are hoping to be aggressive this offseason. That could mean moving up in the 2013 NHL Draft and/or acquiring a scoring forward.

Ottawa Senators manager Bryan Murray has been attempting to acquire a top-six scoring forward for some time. Those efforts likely continued at the NHL general managers' meetings in Boston on Wednesday. Murray stated during his media availability on Tuesday that he hoped to lay groundwork for potential deals at the 2013 NHL Draft,scheduled for June 30.

In addition to a top-six forward, Murray is also attempting to move up in the draft. The manager stated that he has contacted four teams, but has not found a willing trade partner. Bruce Garrioch writes that Murray has insinuated that the club might look to deal from its prospect pool to help attain a higher pick.

Murray is doubtful that the team will be able to satisfy their need for a scoring forward with the No. 17 overall selection. With that in mind, he is hoping the club can become a beneficiary of the declining salary cap, which will be set at an upper-limit of $64.3 million in 2013-14. With several teams looking to become compliant with the new cap, a forward who fits the Senators' needs might become available.

While Murray states that he has begun discussions with teams, it appears as though talks are in developmental stages.

What is clear, though, is Ottawa wants a scoring forward. Dating back to the start of the 2013 season, Murray has expressed his desire to obtain such a player. Previously, the manager was unwilling to deal from his prospect pool to finalize an exchange. Now, it appears he is open to the idea.

Of course, free agency is another possible avenue to explore. While the declining cap might motivate teams to deal players, there also could be an infusion of talent via compliance buyout candidates. Based upon multiple reports, the Philadelphia Flyers have informed Danny Briere that he will be bought out once the compliance buyout period begins. This will make him an unrestricted free agent on July 5.

Whether Briere or the Senators would have interest in a deal is unknown. However, the option could be there.

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