Sens swap shop open

A slow start by the Senators is already forcing Bryan Murray to start a shopping list.

The GM is so concerned, he told reporters Wednesday he has held trade talks to see if he can bring in some help with Ottawa off to a 1-4-1 start.

Sources say Murray is trying to find a rugged blueliner. The Senators haven’t been the same with the free-agency departure of Anton Volchenkov and need someone to get physical with opposing forwards.

“It’s up to all of us,” said Murray. “I’ve talked to a number of people, as I said I talked to (Wild GM) Chuck Fletcher for a long time (Tuesday) and I said, ‘Can I help you and you help me type of thing?’

“So we’re talking with the management of other teams to try to find if there is a need and the possibility of making a move. That’s not always the solution, but it’s something that maybe sends a little message to the players. So we’ll continue to pursue something.”

Murray said he hasn’t been pleased with the way the Senators have played defensively, came to the defence of his leaders and still believes this team can find a way to win.

Murray named the players who aren’t performing.

“We’ve got a couple of young guys on the blueline (Erik Karlsson and Brian Lee) who have really struggled to play their game and it becomes contagious. I can’t say that one of our (defencemen) have played to where I thought they were going to be,” said Murray. “We can go through it: Chris Phillips has to be a real, top defender. He does miss his partner (Volchenkov) a little bit, but when he and (Sergei) Gonchar play together they’re real good, but we haven’t been able to do that as often as we like.

“We expected Erik Karlsson to come back after a strong finish last year, and we all thought he was a good draft pick at the time, and he developed into a top player. He has struggled big time so far this year. Our expectations aren’t being fulfilled in that there’s a little bit of a dropoff in that area.”