Sinden to help hire B's new GM

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

NOTEBOOK

Don't count Bruins president Harry Sinden out of the mix in Beantown just yet. Though there has been talk Sinden will be sent out to pasture at the end of the season, sources say he'll likely hire the club's next GM, with help from owner Jeremy Jacobs and Jacobs' son, Charlie. Though assistant GM Jeff Gorton is doing the job on an interim basis since Mike O'Connell was fired last week, two names have surfaced as possible replacements -- former San Jose GM Dean Lombardi and Pittsburgh's Craig Patrick. Talk has surfaced that Patrick may have turned down an extension from the Penguins and will be looking for work in the off-season ... Union executive director Ted Saskin is taking heat again and there are predictions he won't make it through the summer in his current post. There are whispers a movement is afoot to have Saskin fired during the NHLPA's summer meetings in Whistler, B.C. Detroit player rep Chris Chelios let it slip last week that a group of players are passing around a petition, which will call for Saskin's resignation. The players are particularly upset that Saskin wants to keep the cap at around $42.5 million (all terms US) next season because it could help cut down on the amount of escrow ... Senators president Roy Mlakar didn't have enough to do yesterday, so he went into the club's offices and helped work the phones selling playoff tickets.

THIS 'N' THAT: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has already declared he has no interesting buying the CFL's Renegades, but his company could be involved if they play next season. There are indications CFL commissioner Tom Wright might ask Melnyk's company, Capital Tickets, to help manage marketing and season-ticket sales in Ottawa if the team does operate next season ... Senators D Zdeno Chara declared yesterday: "My fighting days are over." Chara isn't ready to return from a deep bone bruise he suffered in a fight with Pittsburgh's Eric Cairns 10 days ago. Coach Bryan Murray will be happy to hear the news ... My choice as NHL coach-of-the-year: Carolina's Peter Laviolette, hands down. He's the main reason the club's battling for No. 1 overall in the Eastern Conference.

RUMOURS DU JOUR: The Leafs are going to target goaltending help before the June 24 NHL draft in Vancouver, and they have some interesting names in mind: San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov, Buffalo's Martin Biron and Boston's Andrew Raycroft. With the way backup Vesa Toskala is playing in San Jose right now, Nabokov might be expendable this summer. And both goalies recently signed contract extensions, but there's a big difference: Toskala signed a two-year, $1.4-million deal, while Nabokov inked a four-year $21.5-million contract. As far as Biron and Raycroft go, it would likely have to be a three-way deal since neither the Sabres nor the Bruins would likely want to make a trade with their division rival. Of course, the Leafs could always attempt to bring G Curtis Joseph back from Phoenix as an unrestricted free agent ... There's plenty of talk D Wade Redden will get a deal done with the Senators before becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Chara is going to test the open market ... Don't be surprised if Edmonton C Mike Peca, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, decides to return to the Eastern Conference next season and he could be a good fit as a No. 2 man with the Senators. GM John Muckler has always respected Peca's work ethic and traded for him in Buffalo when Muckler was the Sabres GM ... Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby will play for Team Canada at the world championship in Latvia this spring. GM Ken Holland has had a tough time recruiting players because of the tight playoff races. Expect to see Columbus W Rick Nash take part as well ... One of the most valuable free agents on the market this summer will be Senators LW Peter Schaefer. Don't be surprised if the Canucks try to lure him back to Vancouver now that GM Brian Burke is gone. That's where Schaefer has his off-season home ... Keep an eye on Detroit C Steve Yzerman. Speculation will begin as soon as the regular season ends that this will be his last year in the league. That decision won't be made until the Wings' year is over and Yzerman hasn't given any indication as to which way he is leaning.

Have a nice Sunday.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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