The GM filmed an interview segment for the Ducks’ web site that, among other things, reminded me yet again how lucky he got at the entry draft with the Chris Pronger trade. Judging by the look on his face (one advantage to the video interview), having to recall the events reminded Murray how lucky he was, too.
You might remember that the GM decided to accept the Flyers’ offer for Pronger *before* Scott Niedermayer announced he would play another season, not after.
Said Murray, “When the decision (to trade Pronger) was made at the draft and I finally left all my people, went into the room – it was before (Niedermayer) told me – I came out to the room and said ‘I’m doing it guys.’ As I was walking out the door, we just changed into our suits to go out to the draft floor, and Scotty called me. … It was nice to get that phone call.”
Those few minutes will probably go down as among the most important in franchise history.
Without handing them the fourth, fifth and sixth defensemen jobs, Murray talked up Luca Sbisa, Nick Boynton and Steve McCarthy enough to make them the leading candidates to round out the blue line.
“If he cannot be in my top five, he’s not going to play. If I don’t sense Randy’s going to play him, I will not keep him here and have him sit on the bench. You can’t have a 19-year-old sitting on the bench.”
“It’s time for Nick to stand up. He’s got to live up to a lot of things I thought he’s always had. It’s his chance.”
“He gives us great depth. He’s coming up from Europe; he’s had a couple big injuries. Another guy with another big opportunity, playing on a Scott Niedermayer-led team. OK, it’s time to step up.”
Murray also provided some useful insight on why bumping up against the salary cap isn’t such a good thing:
“Every morning, yiou’re waking up and saying, ‘my God, the goalie can’t get hurt today or else we’re in deep trouble.’ If something does happen, we can probably go out and fix it now. If something were to happen in those last couple years, we couldn’t have done a damn thing about it. We were in trouble.”