Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has job security for now, but the team is looking to bring in some assistance for him. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that the Senators have begun vetting candidates for the position of President of Hockey Operations. Many teams have a veteran hockey mind in this advisory position, previously including Ottawa with the late Bryan Murray, and the Senators will soon re-join that group.
Garrioch writes that the team continues to have full faith in Dorion, but acknowledges that their complete overhaul of a rebuild could use another set of eyes. The Sens have arguably been the worst team in hockey over the past two years and cannot even benefit from a top draft pick this season, having traded their first-round selection away to the Colorado Avalanche. Yet, judging by their statement made to the Sun, the Senators are confident that they can bring in a top name:
It should come as no surprise that – given the scale of our rebuild and the opportunity to be part of a turnaround fueled by an enormous well of young talent, including elite prospects and draft picks (17 in the first three rounds of the next three seasons) – the Ottawa Senators have become an attractive destination for hockey executives.
The only name specifically mentioned by Garrioch as a top candidate is current Philadelphia Flyers executive Dean Lombardi. Lombardi, who led the Los Angeles Kings to two Stanley Cup titles as GM, is considered the ideal choice, but it may be tough to land him. As a current Flyers employee, Ottawa would need prior consent to speak with him. Even given that permission, they may not be able to convince him to leave Philadelphia. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that Lombardi is committed to the Flyers and does not believe a move to the Senators would be of interest. LeBrun adds that the team had interest in bringing in former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis last off-season and could revisit that possibility with an improved offer of President of Hockey Ops. Were it not for his contentious relationship with owner Eugene Melnyk, Senators great Daniel Alfredsson would also be a strong candidate for the job, but it remains a long shot with Melnyk still in the picture.