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'We owe it to the players': Senators GM says players sent message for club to be buyers at trade deadline

Pierre Dorion

The recent play of the Ottawa Senators encouraged general manager Pierre Dorion to become a buyer ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

After the Senators swept a two-game home series against the Detroit Red Wings and won 10 of their last 14 games, Dorion acquired defenceman Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for three draft picks.

Speaking with reporters in New York City Thursday morning, Dorion said he felt he owed it to the players to bring in a player for the playoff push, and wanted to honour a promise made to Claude Giroux.

"We owe it to the players. Anyone who has watched us the last little while can't not be impressed with how they've played, how hard they've worked … They've sent me an indirect message, some said it publicly but for us, it was a message from them - Please do something," Dorion said.

"I probably shouldn't say this but I made a promise to Claude Giroux that we'd get him a defenceman before the end of the year; we got him a defenceman."

Chychrun has 7 goals and 21 assists in 36 games this season for Arizona. He has been out of the line-up since Feb. 10. 

"It's a great day for the franchise. I think for us to add a player the calibre of Jakob Chychrun I think it's exciting. I think it's exciting for our fans, it's exciting for the players in that dressing room and we move on," Dorion said.

Chychrun arrived in New York Thursday morning to join the Senators ahead of their game against the Rangers. He made his Senators debut Thursday night.

The Senators enter Thursday's action sitting five points behind Pittsburgh for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Dorion says Chychrun will help the Senators for the playoff push, and into the future.

"For us, obviously, bringing in a player for the playoff push is great, but this is not just for this year – it's for this year and the next two years, solidifying our back end," Dorion said.

"I think it's been on billboards everywhere in any hockey market that the Ottawa Senators are always looking for a top four defenceman, so this does it for this year and the next two years."

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday evening that the Coyotes were initially asking the Senators for Ridly Greig or another top prospect for Chychrun before the price softened.

Dorion says Greig is one of three players considered untouchable in a trade.

"For us, we have three players that we're not going to give up ever in a deal. One is Mats Sogaard …Ridly Greig ... and the other one is Tyler Kleven."

The Senators have 22 games left in the regular season. 

The Senators next home game is Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With files from TSN Top Stories

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