May 28, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
After averaging just 2.33 goals per game this season, the Ottawa Senators know they need to improve offensively.
And nobody seems to know it more than their GM, Bryan Murray.
Murray met with media on Tuesday and said increasing offense is his No. 1 offseason priority:
Murray would consider packaging prospects for proven scorer. #Sens
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) May 28, 2013
Will consider packaging prospects to get a proven scorer. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) May 28, 2013
Murray admits that offense is the team’s top priority in the off-season. He may pursue via free agency or trade.
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) May 28, 2013
As far as prospects go, well, Murray has no shortage of them to deal.
Ottawa iced one of the league’s youngest teams this season, which included the youngest guy on the roster — 20-year-old Mika Zibanejad — who finished fourth on the team in scoring with 20 points.
All told, the Sens had 15 different players dress this season that were 23 or younger and have three former first-round picks yet to make their NHL debuts: Matt Puempel (24th overall, 2011), Stefan Noesen (21st overall, 2011) and Cody Ceci (15th overall, 2012).
It’s clear Ottawa could use some more offense, but it could also use some size as well. The club wasn’t overly imposing in terms of physicality last year and got even smaller at the deadline by acquiring 5-foot-8 Cory Conacher from Tampa Bay.
“I like a bigger type of player,” Murray explained. “It gives you a better chance, especially in playoffs.”
It stands to reason that Murray will be aggressive in trying to move some pieces.
He feels the Sens are on the verge of contending for a title — they’ve made the playoffs the last two seasons and won their first series since 2007 — and can now reap the rewards for building a successful prospect pool.
“I think we’re a serious contender,” Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “We’ll have to an improved hockey club.
“A whole bunch of us want to win right now.”
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