LeBrun: Senators GM Steve Staios shoots down Brady Tkachuk rumors, talks trade deadline plans


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As part of the Edmonton Oilers front office a year ago, Steve Staios got a firsthand look at how a veteran general manager like Ken Holland operates a trade deadline. He has talked about how valuable that experience was.

Now Staios is the man running a deadline himself, his first as an NHL GM (and president of hockey operations), and he and the Ottawa Senators have got some potentially interesting decisions ahead of 3 p.m. ET on March 8.

Staios joined me on the Got Yer Back podcast Wednesday morning from his office at Canadian Tire Centre.

Listen to the full interview here. Here are a few highlights.

On running his first deadline:

It’s been good. There’s a process that we’ve put in place, an understanding of what our needs are. We’re using the trade deadline as one opportunity to continue to build on this young group. So yeah, there’s certainly a process in place and types of players that we have targeted and value moving forward that could continue to support this very good young core that we have here in Ottawa.

When you look at our group, just the youth, and in the most respectful way the lack of experience, you know, you’d like to see if there’s an opportunity to bring some veteran people in here to support it. But trade deadlines are just one opportunity to be able to build off of that. Typically, as you know, the market really dictates what you can do and how much you can do. But as far as us entering it, we’re involved in trying to address some areas but we’re also very patient and understanding that these things do take some time, and like I said, the trade deadline is just one opportunity.

Vladimir Tarasenko has 15 goals and 38 points in 55 games for the Senators. (Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)

On trade talks for pending unrestricted free agent Vladimir Tarasenko, who has a full no-trade clause:

I wouldn’t go so far as to talk about the personal dialogue on any of our players, but certainly I think as you see where our team is in the standings and you see an incredibly impactful player that’s won a Stanley Cup (and who) there’s going to be a high level of interest for.

You mentioned it, he’s rightfully negotiated a no-trade clause within his contract, and so there’s a process there as far as working with a player, any player, if you’re going to move him. Certainly there’s a level of interest in these types of players that’s very high at the trade deadline.

I really like what Vladdy has brought to our group. He comes in on a one-year deal and continues to prove his ability to play big games and understated leadership, as well. He plays the game the right way. He probably got typecast a little bit in his career as just being an offensive player, but he’s certainly a well-rounded player for me.

On Ryan Whitney’s tweet last week regarding the Senators “maybe” being willing to move Brady Tkachuk:

Ah yeah, that could not be further from the truth (chuckle).

I don’t follow on social media. I do get, our communications people alert me to things like that. There’s obviously no truth to that. Like, we’re building the team around Brady Tkachuk and the type of person, the type of player and the type of leader that he is. He means everything to the organization. And he brings it every night along with our core group of players. It’s a matter of time and a matter of nurturing this group.

When I talk about bringing in veteran players, it’s really to support this young group and to support Brady and Tim (Stützle) and the rest of the group. Claude Giroux has done a phenomenal job of that. But you can always use those guys.

We’re the fifth-youngest team in the league, you know? So say we’re three years younger than these Stanley Cup-contending types of teams, but it’s three years younger across the board. So that adds up to a lot of years and a lot of games played. Really, that’s really it. But certainly, Brady is the leader that we need in this room. He is everything as advertised, and I’m just looking to do my best to support him.

On teams calling on Jakob Chychrun and his future with the Senators:

If I’m on the other side of things, looking at our team, he’d be a player I would be calling about as well.

It is a bit disappointing, and I guess maybe as players you have to learn how to deal with this being an NHL player and the amount of attention, especially if you’re an elite player like Jakob, but you know conversations happen all the time and names get bandied about all the time.

Like I said, I’d be calling about Jakob Chychrun myself if I was looking to add a top defenseman. So again, it’s disappointing that it came out — we do our best to keep these things in-house out of respect for the players in particular — but certainly it’s that time of year, so these things do happen.

(Top photo of Brady Tkachuk and Vladimir Tarasenko: Mike Carlson / Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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