Sens to 'C' if they can lock up Alfredsson, while Maurice and Martin on chopping block

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

The Senators are going to get a glimpse of life without captain Daniel Alfredsson in the NHL playoffs.

They might not like what they see.

That's why the Senators are likely to sit down with Alfredsson this summer to see if they can get him signed to a long- term contract extension to avoid losing him next summer as an unrestricted free agent.

While it would be difficult to imagine Alfredsson, who will be sidelined for at least the first round of the playoffs with knee and neck injuries, playing for anybody else, the possibility of him becoming a UFA does exist.

Under the terms of Alfreds- son's contract with the Sena- tors, he's scheduled to make US $5.465 million next season. Three option years, all at $3.8 million per year, kick in at the start of the 2009-10 season.

That's where it becomes tricky. Under the terms, if Alfredsson plays in 70 or more regular-season games and averages a point per game, then he has the right to decide if he wants to return the next year.

Should Alfredsson not meet the points requirement, then it's up to the Senators to decide if they want him to return the following year.

The same rules exists for the final two option years of the contract.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told Sun Media ear- lier this year he'd like to keep Alfredsson in the fold after his playing days are over.

You can bet that one of the first orders of business for Senators GM Bryan Murray this off-season will be to sit down with Alfredsson. He's often criticized, but Alfredsson is the heart and soul of the Senators, and it's doubtful he'll ever move on.

OFF THE GLASS

The season is over in 14 cities as of tonight, so let the second-guessing begin. The talk among NHL executives is Toronto Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice could be fired as early as this week. He was hired by former GM John Ferguson Jr., and the word is the Leafs have absolutely no intention of keeping him. A league executive said Maurice's comment about the Senators "swinging their purses" is awfully risky for a guy who is going to be looking for work .... Another man feeling a lot of heat is Florida Panthers coach and GM Jacques Martin. Missing the playoffs isn't sitting well with Panthers owner Alan Cohen. Cohen could be looking at having co-GMs like they have in Dallas with Les Jackson and Brett Hull. While former Calgary Flames star Joe Nieuwendyk could take on more of a role in the Panthers front office, the talk is the team might hire former Boston Bruins assistant GM Jeff Gorton to work with the long-time NHL great. Cohen has a lot of respect for Gorton. "It's up to the owner," said Panthers G Tomas Vokoun. "When something like this happens, usually there are changes, in the sense there should be changes."

AROUND THE BOARDS

Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford likely won't be back. GM Dean Lombardi has been getting heat, and there's an awful lot of talk the Kings players are tired of Crawford's act. Crawford's an emotional guy and expects a lot from his players ... What's this we hear about CBC analyst Craig Simpson returning to the Edmonton Oilers in a management role after the season? He gave up an assistant coaching job with Edmonton to go back to the booth ... Why is there talk the Vancouver Canucks might try to lure GM Brian Burke back from Anaheim? The talk is if he leaves the Ducks, he's going to take over as the Maple Leafs GM ... The Colorado Avalanche are non-committal about the return of coach Joel Quenneville, who was a finalist for the Ottawa Senators job when former GM John Muckler hired Bryan Murray.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

Canucks W Markus Naslund, an unrestricted free agent, isn't likely to return next season. The word is the Canucks believe it's time to move on. Don't be surprised if they try to keep C Brendan Morrison ... The Oilers will shop G Dwayne Roloson, who has a year left on his contract, this summer ... The Philadelphia Flyers will keep coach John Stevens, despite rumours to the contrary ... Columbus Blue Jackets D Ron Hainsey has played his last game with the Ohio team. He will be a UFA this summer and won't be back because he'll be one of the most sought-after players on the market ... Don't expect Minnesota Wild W Pavol Demitra to return to the club. The talk is he'd like to play where there's warm weather. The Tampa Bay Lightning might be a good fit ... Speaking of the Bolts, once the sale of the team is complete, GM Jay Feaster and coach John Tortorella could be on their way out the door. The Hockey News recently ranked all 30 GMs, and Feaster was last on the list. That, and the club's record, doesn't bode well for the future ... Expect to see the Avalanche make a strong pitch to keep G Jose Theodore from becoming an unrestricted free agent. He's going to have to take a pay cut from the $6 million he's making this season, but the club would like to have him back ... How good would Washington Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin be with more key players around him? Perhaps we'll find out since GM George McPhee went out on deadline to get G Cristobal Huet.


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