OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators entered Wednesday’s game with just one win over their last 13 outings, but general manager Pierre Dorion still believes his team can make the playoffs.
Dorion met with the media before the Senators’ home game against the New York Rangers to talk about his team’s struggles.
Ottawa (9-13-7) is coming off a seven-game, 15-day road trip where they went 1-5-1 to drop to second last in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the free fall, Dorion pointed out that the Senators are just seven points back of the Boston Bruins (14-9-4), who sit third in the Atlantic Division.
“Obviously we’re not at the point we thought we’d be or we anticipated we’d be right now,” said Dorion. “Are we out of it? No. Are we just going to trade everyone? Noâ€¦we’re going to fight through this. I don’t think anyone’s having a lot of fun right now, but I don’t feel this team has quit.
“I think this team has gone through way tougher things and battled through it. I still have faith in this team, but at the same time things aren’t going well.”
The Senators have won just once since returning from their two-game series against the Colorado Avalanche in Sweden on Nov. 10 and 11.
“The blame falls on everyone,” said Dorion. “It falls on the players, it falls on me because I’m at the head of the hockey operations. It’s not where we wanted to be, but we’re not quitting. We’re not trading away people just to trade them away. We’re going to keep fighting and that’s the way we are here.”
Dorion said he’s held discussions with numerous general managers and would be willing to make a deal if it was the right move for the team.
“If we can make a deal where we feel we get better or there’s a lateral move that nets changes a bit then we’ll definitely look at it, but at the same time we have to look at everyone here.”
Dorion said no one is untouchable, including captain Erik Karlsson. Dorion said if someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse he’d have to consider it. But he also said he would prefer Karlsson remain in Ottawa long term.
“It’s our wish for Erik Karlsson to be here for the next ten years.”
Head coach Guy Boucher received a vote of confidence from his general manager with Dorion saying the Senators would not be making a coaching change.
“Guy was a great coach last year. He got us one goal from the Stanley Cup Final. He’s staying,” Dorion said.
Dorion had no comment on rumours Wednesday that the team would be sold.
Dorion, an Ottawa native, said this has been one of the most challenging times for him since taking over as general manager.
“It’s been hard, very hard,” he said.