Report: Senators’ interest in Daley trade serious

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill joined Prime Time Sports to talk about trading Trevor Daley for Patrick Sharp and how the team is shaping up for the upcoming season.

The mediocre Ottawa Senators — sufferers of poor possession and a porous penalty kill — are reportedly on the hunt for a defenceman.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, who cites two anonymous league executives, Senators general manager Bryan Murray is serious about acquiring Trevor Daley from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks’ asking price? A second-round draft pick and either winger Matt Puempel or Shane Prince, reports Garrioch.

“We’re always looking for an upgrade if that’s possible. Obviously we’re not totally happy with the way the team is playing,” Murray told reporters in Ottawa Wednesday. “We find ourselves some nights scrambling so much in our own end when it shouldn’t be so hard on us.”

Watch: Bryan Murray on his search for a roster upgrade

Daley and Ryan Garbutt were acquired from the Dallas Stars by Chicago in the summer for winger Patrick Sharp and defence prospect Stephen Johns in a deal that is looking more lopsided by the week.

The 32-year-old Daley, a top-pair guy in Dallas, has seen his ice time chopped by nearly seven minutes a game (down to 16:06) since joining the defending champs. Daley has three assists in 18 games, but playing behind Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, he’s seeing less power-play action.

Meanwhile, Sharp has scored seven goals and eight assists for the deadly Stars offence, and Dallas GM Jim Nill is big on Johns.

Daley has one more season remaining on his contract, which carries a $3.3 million cap hit. The blueliner’s actual salary for 2016-17, however, is $2.7 million, which could increase his appeal for a budget club like Ottawa.

The Senators (8-5-5) have dropped four of their last five games, yet due to the weakness of the Atlantic group and an East-best five loser points, sit second place in their division.

Ottawa ranks 25th in goals allowed (three per game) and 28th in penalty killing (74.6 per cent success rate), so it’s no surprise that Murray is looking to upgrade the blue-line with a playoff spot attainable.

“I think we have a good enough defence but they’re not playing good enough. We expect more from [Patrick] Wiercioch and [Jared] Cowen, without a doubt,” Murray said.

Problem is, finalizing deals is difficult this early into the season.

“It seems like there’s a lot of talk,” Murray said of trade discussions with fellow GMs, “but not much more.”

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