Shed Some Salary and Shedding Some Thoughts

For all of you fans who questioned whether or not the Senators organization had learned from their mistakes that were made during the 2008-09 season, you may rest a little bit easier. In today’s Sun, Bruce Garrioch has indicated that Bryan Murray is attempting to shed salary in trade negotiations with two teams. According to Bruce, owner Eugene Melnyk declined to speak publicly about the Senators’ situation last week during the team’s five-day break, but other teams told the Sun that Murray has been instructed to get money off the books before the Feb. 28 NHL trade deadline.

Murray better heed The Euge’s wishes too. The last time a GM failed to adhere to The Euge’s player personnel advice, the Senators went to the Cup Finals and John Muckler was still fired for his inability to acquire Gary Roberts.

Some hysterical, open mouth breathing cynics may allude to this as some ominous doomsday bullshit sign that the organization’s future in Ottawa is in doubt but the simple explanation is that The Euge appears willing to acknowledge its 0.4% chance of reaching the postseason and embrace a rebuild that probably should have happened two seasons ago when the team held onto impending veteran free agents like Filip Kuba and Chris Neil and parlayed Dean McAmmond and a first round pick for Chris Campoli.

Looking at the current roster, the list of prospective trade chips may be long but it’s also saddled with overpaid, underachieving veterans. Many of whom – Kovalev, Gonchar, Spezza, Fisher and Kuba – are protected by movement clauses. And while the team does have a few impeding unrestricted free agents who aren’t protected by such clauses, neither Shannon nor Ruutu should fetch much in the way of a return. So if you’re hoping for sweeping changes that will bring about a plethora of cap relief, draft picks and prospects, you may want to temper those expectations a little.

Unless the organization can somehow manage to convince many of its veteran players to be open to the prospect of a trade, management is going to have to get creative if they hope to augment Robin Lehner and its wealth of young defencemen.

But like a ray of sunshine that has broken through the clouds, news that Alexander Frolov is out for remainder of the NHL season with a torn ACL, a sprained MCL and a tear to his meniscus is reason for optimism. If there’s reason to get start first pumping the air like you’re one of the Jersey Shore guys, it’s because Glen Sather, one of the most inept GMs in the league, now has an influx of cap space to piss away.

Injury Situation

With Pascal Leclaire on the shelf for the foreseeable future, Cory Clouston announced at practice this morning that Mike Brodeur will be recalled and serve as the backup goaltender for the duration of the week. Even though he was used as an emergency call-up against Chicago and Tampa Bay, Robin Lehner is better served spending the week in Binghamton getting some playing time.

After suffering a lower body injury blocking a shot against the Lightning, Mike Fisher is expected to be back in the lineup tomorrow night against the Bruins. Alexei Kovalev however, will miss a week of action with a knee injury. Taking Kovalev’s spot in the lineup will be one of Bobby Butler, Jim O’Brien, Erik Condra or Corey Locke.

Considering that Butler and O’Brien have already been rewarded for their play thus far and that I wouldn’t mind seeing Locke prove or disprove that he’s not a NHL calibre player. That’s why I’m pulling for him or Condra (Binghamton’s second leading scorer) to get the call.

More Prospect Porn

Today the Central Scouting Service revealed its midterm rankings and Gabriel Landeskog is now its number one ranked North American skater. For Sens fans who were hoping that the Swedish winger would slide to the organization in the draft, you can start crossing your fingers that the ping pong balls will land the Senators way in the draft lottery.

Considering that this year’s draft isn’t as highly regarded in the sense that there is no generational talent available and that some teams who are beneath the Senators in the standings could use a defenceman like Adam Larsson, it bodes well in the sense that Ottawa should be able to trade and move up in the draft.

You can check out the North American rankings here and the European skater rankings here.

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