With Craig Anderson, Andrew Hammond, Robin Lehner and Matt O’Connor all under contract heading into the summer, it should come as no surprise that the Ottawa Senators have fielded phone calls from general managers looking to add a goaltender.
Senators GM Bryan Murray told media on Thursday that he’s heard from seven teams, with 23-year-old Lehner garnering the most interest, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
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“I’ve had a quite a number of calls and there’s some real interest from a number of teams that don’t have the depth that we have that are looking for an NHL goaltender,” said Murray.
Anderson is signed through the 2018 season with an annual cap hit of $4.2 million (via generalfanager.com), while Lehner has two more years left on his current deal before becoming a restricted free agent in 2017.
Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond’s rise from obscurity in the midst of the Senators’ improbable run to the playoffs this past season earned him a $4.05-million, three-year contract with the club following its exit from the post-season.
Further complicating matters of the crease in the National Capital, the Senators signed NCAA free agent goaltender Matt O’Connor to a contract in May.
Lehner, a former second-round pick (46th overall, 2009), was previously believed to be the club’s goaltender of the future. Hammond’s emergence and the arrival of O’Connor could change that thinking.
Still, Murray seemingly recognizes that Lehner might be the Senators’ best trade chip among the pack of goaltenders.
“We have identified and know the teams that are looking and know that are looking,” Murray said. “Over the next week or two I’ll probably get as good an offer as I’m going to get.”
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“We have to evaluate and hopefully make the right decisions. Who is going to help us? We want to win now to,” Murray added.
Garrioch reports that the club expect O’Connor to take the reigns as the No. 1 goaltender with its AHL affiliate in Binghamton.