GM quells L.A. rumour

Ottawa Senator's General Manager John Muckler. (SUN/Tony Caldwell)

Ottawa Senator's General Manager John Muckler. (SUN/Tony Caldwell)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

If anyone thinks the Senators are about to deal captain Daniel Alfredsson to the Kings they are living in La-La Land, says GM John Muckler.

After four Los Angeles Kings scouts attended the Senators-Canadiens game at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, a Montreal radio station yesterday reported that the Senators were looking to deal their captain to the Kings.

Muckler was quick to quash the banter.

"There is absolutely no truth to that rumour," Muckler said flatly.

JUST ONE GOAL

But with Alfredsson struggling (one goal in 11 games), league sources say Muckler has been talking to several teams about possible deals -- including Kings GM Dean Lombardi -- to get the Swedish winger some help.

With rookie Alexei Kaigorodov unable to show he has what it takes to be the club's second-line centre, it's an area Muckler needs to upgrade pronto.

After passing on unrestricted free-agent centre Yanic Perreault (who signed with Phoenix last weekend), it's believed the Senators are eyeing Los Angeles centre Craig Conroy, who has been shopped around by Lombardi in the last week.

Making $2.34 million US a year on a contract that runs through 2007-08, Conroy might be a nice fit with the Senators as their No. 2 centre. When he played on a line with Jarome Iginla and Dean McAmmond in Calgary in 2001-02, the trio combined for 100 goals.

It's believed the Kings want a blueliner in return for Conroy.

After losing two straight -- including Tuesday's 4-2 decision to the Canadiens -- the Senators finished October with a 5-6 record and will play 15 games in November.

Changes are coming if the Senators don't shake out of their doldrums.

FANS RIPPING MAD

With each loss, the pressure on Muckler to make a deal is only going to be turned up a notch.

Even Alfredsson is aware there could be changes if Ottawa doesn't right the ship.

"That's the way pro sports works. There's no question," said Alfredsson. "As players it's out of our control. We can control what we do on the ice. And then what happens off the ice, is up to coaches and management."

Many fans would like the 'C' ripped off Alfredsson's chest, if not seeing him dealt.

Does he know why he's the lightning rod for the criticism?

"I'm the captain. That's probably a big part of it," said Alfredsson. "Especially this year. I haven't been playing the way I am capable of and I am working to get better all the time. I don't think it's just me. We all feel responsible in here. I'm sure we're trying as hard as we can."

KNOW WHAT'S AT STAKE

Does the criticism bother him?

"What bothers me is I'm not performing the way I am capable of. That's what bothers me," said Alfredsson.

The players hope they get this turned around themselves without the need for trades, starting Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Place.

"I'm embarrassed by the way we're playing," said centre Mike Fisher.

The players understand the consequences.

"We've got to buckle down and get some wins," said defenceman Chris Phillips. "We want to start winning. We feel that we have the group to get it done and we don't want (management) make changes or shake it up. It's gotta start now."


Videos

Photos