In the Market For a Center?

Here’s the latest Bruce Garrioch article that details what Bryan Murray is looking for on the trade market. My comments will appear in bold.

ATLANTA — Senators GM Bryan Murray is looking to add a centre to help get the team out of its scoring doldrums.

Hhhhhwhat?

As the Senators continue their five-game road trip tonight against the Thrashers and struggle to hang onto a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, two league executives told the Sun yesterday that Murray is trying to deal for a centre.

Malkin to the Senators!

With top centre Jason Spezza sidelined the past three weeks, Mike Fisher struggling and Peter Regin miscast as the No. 1 pivot at the moment, the indications are Murray would like somebody who can play in a top-six role and possibly move to the wing once the team is healthy.

I said this yesterday, but I’ll say it again. Mike Fisher is struggling because teams have shifted their focus on him and Kovalev. It’s the reason why Clouston moved Regin between Shannon and Kovalev. Again, I mentioned this yesterday, should there be legitimate concern that Murray is reportedly interested in a quick fix center when that blueline is softer than the typical goal scored against an Ottawa netminder?

The most consistent centre for the Senators this season has been Chris Kelly, who has looked quite comfortable in his third-line role.

Up until the last ten games, I would have said it was Mike Fisher. I guess Kelly is the most consistent because of lowered expectations. Whatever. As an armchair GM, Kelly would be on my shortlist of guys who I’d be marketing at the deadline to capitalize on his strong play.

Making a deal is tough with the salary cap, but talk has started to heat up.

This is best thing I’ve read in this article. I can’t even begin to explain why. For some reason, I keep re-reading this sentence and it makes me laugh.

“That’s easier said than done,” said one NHL executive. “There’s just not a lot out there right now. Not enough teams are eliminated.”

Murray is in Florida wrapping up meetings with his pro scouts before heading out to watch a few teams himself. The only teams actively selling — with the deadline set for March 3 — are the Oilers and Hurricanes.

Edmonton? Sweet. Get ready for Mike Comrie version 3.0 .

It’s not known if there are any hard feelings with the Oilers after the Dany Heatley fiasco last summer, but it seems doubtful there would be.

Why would there be hard feelings between these two organizations? Ottawa tried to strong arm Heatley into going there. Bryan Murray was doing Edmonton a favour.

The names being bandied about from Edmonton are centres Andrew Cogliano (4 goals and 6 assists in 44 games) and Robert Nilsson (6 goals and 8 assists in 29 games) and winger Ethan Moreau (4 goals and 4 assists in 43 games). All are affordable, but it would depend on what the Oilers want in return.

This is so weird. I just had a conversation with Tim the other night about how Robert Nilsson is the guy who could put the Senators over the top. Oh, and here’s a true story to put things in perspective — Jonathan Cheechoo has more points than Cogliano right now. Buy low!

As for the Hurricanes, the best option for Ottawa might be veteran centre Matt Cullen (8 goals, 19 assists in 44 games), who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. A lot of teams are interested in veteran winger Ray Whitney (13 goals, 18 assists in 43 games), but he has a no-movement clause and he’s going to be able to pick his destination, likely to a contender.

Translation: Guys with no-movement clauses like Ray Whitney will not waive their right to come here. So I ask, if guys won’t waive to come here and Ottawa has to overpay to bring guys in via free agency, why isn’t this team focusing all their efforts on building a successful team through the draft?

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