Sens want to play Let's Make a Deal

A For Sale sign has been hung outside Scotiabank Place, but Bryan Murray can’t find any buyers.

League executives told the Ottawa Sun Tuesday the Senators GM is willing to trade just about anybody — except defenceman Erik Karlsson.

With a five-day break and time to ponder what’s gone wrong after an ugly 5-1 loss to the Maple Leafs Saturday, Murray was unavailable for comment as he was making his way back from the world junior championship in Buffalo.

Something has got to give here.

Coach Cory Clouston is on shaky ground in the final year of his contract.

If the Senators can’t make a trade, don’t rule out Murray going back behind the bench again. But the GM doesn’t want to do that.

The top priority is a trade. Murray won’t deal the 20-year-old Karlsson, who has been the club’s best player and is tied with captain Daniel Alfredsson for the team lead in scoring this season with 24 points.

But there could be options:

n Centre Mike Fisher, who has two years left on his contract, has been mentioned. While there are teams looking for a hard-nosed player in the middle, it’s doubtful Fisher will be going anywhere. He has a no-movement clause and doesn’t have any desire to be dealt.

“That’s what happens when you’re on the outside looking in from a playoff spot halfway through the year. People want to panic. We’re not the only team in this situation, but in this city, sometimes you’d think so,” said Fisher.

“There are people in those positions who are going to make decisions and I’m not in one of those positions. I want to stay here and play here and I love it. Apart from that, I’m not going to sit and dwell on something that’s not really up to me.”

n Veteran defenceman Chris Phillips, 32, who has been with the organization his whole career, is set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The two sides haven’t had any contract talks, but Phillips has made it clear he wants to stay.

If Phillips wants a long-term deal, he’s likely not going to get it here. Burned by winger Dany Heatley after he signed a seven-year deal, owner Eugene Melnyk might not like the idea of another long contract.

Phillips would have to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt.

“Phillips would be a good rental,” said one league executive. “He hasn’t had a great year (at minus-15), but what makes him attractive is the fact he plays his best hockey in the playoffs.”

13 Responses to Sens want to play Let's Make a Deal

  1. hockey_lover says:

    With the way they are playing, I think the season is over. I say blow it up. Get rid of Kovalev ($5mil). The Cheechoo buyout comes off the books ($3mil). Leclaire comes off the books ($3.8). If the cap goes up to $61mil, the Sens will have $20 million to spend.  They need a goaltender (obviously) but will hard pressed to find a true #1. They need to get rid of Michalek and his $4.3mil salary for his meager production. If players are willing to sign in Ottawa, the Sens have the cap space to attract people. They finish low enough, they get a good pick, if they can.   They *can* be in good shape next season.  Also, Murray has to go.

  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    Okay, so they may have $20 mil but who are they going to spend it on? Who is out there, because I really don't think Richards is going to hit the market. And more so he is a centre and they have two good ones. They really need a trigger man!!! Goalies, there will be decent ones out there, maybe even better than decent?

  3. albertateams says:

    Yeah its a nasty position to be in right now for Ottawa.

    The Cheechoo and Emery buyouts still have 1 more year left on them for about 1.8 million.

    I don't see anyone really jumping at Kovalev, best case scenario would be moving him at trade deadline for a low pick or prospect and an expiring contract.

    They could move Spezza (after he returns from IR) but they would have to take back some significant money to do so and I really don't think the return would be as good as they would want.

    I think both Clouston and Murray are gone by the offseason if not sooner. Clouston has clearly lost the team and Murray has made some just awful trades and signings. How different would that team be if the Edmonton Heatly deal went through?

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    I would tend to agree with you on Spezza. I think he is moveable, if only for the lack of good centres out there. I think he gets a much worse wrap then he deserves. People always show that clip of him and Sid behind the net in the playoffs. So what if Sid beat him, you know why? He would beat almost everyone in the league and at least Spezza was there trying to contain him!

  5. albertateams says:

    They should try to target Semin, Bryzgalov or Vokoun, and Kaberle or Pitkanen in the offseason if they are available. I doubt that all of them make it to free agency but if they could get a couple of them it would really help. Semin could be great with Spezza but I don't know if he would sign in Ottawa.

  6. dumbassdoorman says:

    That is kinda what I meant, I mean guys like Bryzgalov, Vokoun they played for bad and rebuilding teams for a long time, would they go? Playing with Spezza i think would appeal to Semin, however does he go from a winner to a loser? I think he and Spezza would tear it up big time, as long as Ott had a defensively sound player on the wing.

    If Kabs love TO as much as he claims, would he sign there? I still think he wants to re-up in toronto, why I don't know?

  7. albertateams says:

    There are alot of teams that could use a number one center but I doubt many of them would be excited about giving up a lot to get a guy with a cap hit of 7 million for the next 4 years. As a Flames fan I wouldn't give up much maybe Stajan, Kotalik, Nemisz and a 3rd and there is no way Ottawa would go for that. Its just not worth it for a lot of teams to tie up the cap space and give up a lot of prospects or picks for Spezza.

  8. albertateams says:

    Yeah it depends on if they would sign or not, with eastern europeans its tough to know how much winning motivates them compared to the pay check so if you offered them more money I think they would consider it.

    Kaberle could still live in TO and play in Ottawa, if he really likes to live in TO that much.

  9. wayne2 says:

    I remember that play and Spezza was excellent,if it had been just about anybody other than Crsoby he would've prevented any possible play.

  10. wayne2 says:

    What scares me is that if they keep Murray long enough to make the deals he could totally screw it.He made bad signings and thats his own fault.The great picks he seems to be credited with are not only his work but mostly the scouts that people often forget about.

  11. wayne2 says:

    Out for sure:
    Kovalev and Rutuu which the sens could give icetime to Zack Smith and Bobby Butler.
    Kuba has to go even if its just for a pick,he's always hurt and cant follow play anymore and cost 3.5 mil.Campoli could also be a rental since I think he his UFA.I dont mind resigning him for a year or two since he comes cheap and is decent.Next year,Cowen and Rundblad both stand a good chance of making it so the rest should be:Phillips,Carkner,Karsson and maybe Gonchar since I doubt any team would take him with a5.5 mil contract.If any one does get rid of him too(too old and cant follow anymore)

  12. coyotes_bettman says:

    Kovalev goes back to Montreal at the deadline – going to Ottawa is a fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry draft.

    For some reason I could see this happening – Kovalev plays great hockey in the playoffs after mailing it in for half the season.
  13. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya and he says he regrets leaving MTL, which means he might even remember what those things on his feet and that stick in his hands are for?

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