Schaefer won't be baking any cupcakes for Sens GM this holiday season

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

BOSTON -- This is what Peter Schaefer really wanted.

A fresh start. A different coach. A chance to play a bigger role.

A pad near a rink that isn't called Scotiabank Place.

A Senator from 2002 until he was traded to the Bruins July 17 for Shean Donovan, Schaefer says he "never directly asked Bryan Murray" to deal him.

But he also made it clear to the previous GM, John Muckler, that he was unhappy with his situation.

"I had little conflicts with Bryan Murray all last year," Schaefer said before last night's game against his former team. "Once John got fired and (Murray) became the GM, I pretty much knew I was going to be moved.

"At the end of year meeting, (Murray) told me he expected me to come back (this season) and have a good year. Two days later, he called me in Vancouver and told me I had been traded to Boston. I just chuckled and said thanks.

"I think it's a business and any time you tell someone one thing and something better comes along, you do it. There's no hard feelings against (Murray).

"At the same time, I'm probably not going to go and bake cupcakes with him at Christmas, either."

Schaefer, who played most of last season with Mike Fisher, had 12 goals and 34 assists in 77 games. He yearned for more responsibility, more of an offensive role.

He felt he was sliding down the company ladder beneath guys like Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly.

"I wanted the opportunity not to be a top guy, but part of the second flow," he said. "I felt that they wanted to give that to younger guys like Vermie and Kells, that maybe they wanted the second flow to come from them. I just felt I wanted an opportunity at that position."

Schaefer averaged more ice time (16:43) than Vermette (15:42) and Kelly (15:18), and he had 2:18 of power play time per night, working often on the second unit.

As a Bruin, he had six goals and nine assists through the first 32 games and was averaging 16:54 of ice time per night, including 2:31 per game on the power play.

He has slid down the depth chart of late, however. After playing the early part of the season as a left winger with Marc Savard and Glen Murray, Schaefer is now a right winger on the third line, with youngsters Phil Kessel and teenager Milan Lucic.

He likes his new home, a two minute walk from TD Banknorth Garden. But his new position?

"Next question," Schaefer replied, smiling. "It's different. I've been a left winger my whole life."

He is, however, happy to be a Bruin.

"It was kind of hard for me to swallow," Schaefer said of the trade. "It was a new city, and it's a great organization, but it was hard because I was leaving a lot of great friends. It's two totally different challenges. We're trying to get into the playoffs here. They're defending the conference (title)."

Murray felt he'd be better equipped to take a run at a few championships by swapping Schaefer for Donovan, not because he was adding a better player, because he wasn't, but in making the trade he was freeing up almost $2 million US in salary.

It's safe to assume he wasn't and is never thinking about losing a baking buddy.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: Cody Bass had 44 PIMs in 24 games with the Baby Sens before he was summoned by the parent club, and he's apparently not shy about dropping the gloves. Last season in Peterborough, witnesses say he was involved in a dandy with Steve Downie ... Bruins rookie Milan Lucic, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from Vancouver, is called "Gino" by his teammates because of a resemblance to former Canucks goon Gino Odjick.

BETWEEN PERIODS: Brian McGrattan played one first-period shift on a line with Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza immediately after junior Gino ran Wade Redden into the end boards. McGrattan may have had a word for Lucic, but chose not to deliver the knuckle sandwich Countrymen and former blue-line partners Zdeno Chara and Andrej Meszaros met up behind the Senators net at one point, with Chara ramming his old buddy hard into the end boards ... Asked Bruins G Alex Auld for a good Chris Neil story from the one year they spent together with the North Bay Centennials. "I don't know any Chris Neil stories that are good," cracked Auld. "I'm just impressed with the way he worked his way up and made it to become a good all-around player." ... Visited a Boston drugstore looking for deodorant yesterday. "You want the ball kind?" the clerk asked. "No, no," I replied. "The stuff for under my arms."


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