Comrie agent expects forward to score new deal soon

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Mike Comrie's long waiting game could soon be coming to an end.

The Senators' unrestricted free agent centre hasn't found a new home with the start of training camp just around the corner, but with six teams interested, Comrie's Edmonton-based agent Ritch Winter is confident he'll have something in place in the next two weeks.

While Senators GM Bryan Murray is still interested in the 28-year-old Comrie, he doesn't have room with the club sitting about $1.3 million over the salary cap and Ottawa trying to move disgruntled winger Dany Heatley with no success.

But if the Senators aren't able to make a deal and it's looking less likely Murray is going to be able to get anything before players report for medicals Sept. 12, Comrie is going to have options and his situation is expected to be settled in the near future.

"There are five or six teams interested, and we're quite confident that we'll have something done before training camp," Winter said yesterday. "Each of them have varying degrees of interest. We're working on various, different types of structures."

Comrie, who made $4 million last season, is likely going to have to accept a paycut to the $1.5- to $2-million range.

He was dealt to the Senators along with defenceman Chris Campoli from the New York Islanders and suited up for the final 22 games of the regular season.

It was Comrie's second stint in Ottawa. He was acquired by former Senators GM John Muckler in 2007 when the club made a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

Murray has always been a big fan, but he can't keep Comrie if Heatley's salary isn't wiped off the books.

There's also the issue of the Senators not being sure about what they're going to get back if they do make a deal for Heatley. If the Senators make a deal with the Sharks and take on a big salary, then there's going to be no room for Comrie anyway.

"(Murray) doesn't have any room at this time, but he's not unlike many others in that category," said Winter.

MOLSONS MAY GET HELP

Despite having said they would not need governmental financial assistance, the Molson brothers may end up receiving a $75-million loan from Quebec to help finalize their purchase of the Montreal Canadiens.

The government is believed to have given precise negotiation instructions to Investissement Quebec to that end.

It has also requested Quebec shareholders be majority owners and the quality of the team be maintained.

Early in the sales process, Quebec Finance minister Raymond Bachand indicated he was ready to loan up to $100-million to a potential buyer from Quebec. However, the Molson brothers turned down the offer.

WILSON LIKED SHARKS BUST

Give Ron Wilson credit for stunning candour.

The coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs admitted the other day when his former team, the San Jose Sharks, were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs this past spring by the Anaheim Ducks, he took solace in the fact he wasn't to blame for the massive disappointment.

"I can't say I was rooting against them, although there was a part of me that was," said Wilson, who watched each game of the series on TV.

"To be perfectly honest with you, though, I did feel good when they failed miserably in the playoffs. You work with players for so long you want them to succeed, so I was disappointed for some of the guys, the guys I really liked.

"The worst thing in the world as a coach is to be led to believe it's your fault (when a team fails)."


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