Murray likes way things are lining up

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Bryan Murray is trying to find the right combinations for the Senators.

While preparing at home for yesterday's press conference at the Corel Centre to introduce winger Dany Heatley to the Ottawa media, the Senators coach started jotting down different line combos.

No, Murray isn't sure how it is all going to look when training camp opens on Sept. 13, but expect Heatley to start on the right side of Jason Spezza the first day.

"I'm not sure how this is going to all shake down," said Murray. "I've been working with a lot of different line combinations since I got this job and as a coach that is something you do a 1,000 times. I had to go at it again when we traded Marian Hossa.

"I was just going through some things. I was thinking we'll start Heatley on the right side with Spezza and we'll go from there. I've seen Dany Heatley play a lot of left wing and we're going to need some help there, but I want to see how he plays with Spezza. Nothing is set in stone. You make changes all the times with these things."

THRILLED WITH HEATLEY

Though he was looking forward to coaching a player like Hossa, Murray has been around the game long enough to know you have to make adjustments and he's thrilled the club was able to get a talent like Heatley.

Heatley is regarded by most in NHL circles as one of the fine young talents in the game.

"From everything I've heard about Dany Heatley he's a quality guy and the people I've spoken to say he's captain material ... he's just that kind of guy. He can get the job done," said Murray.

"From everything I've been made to understand about the guy, he's a quality player who comes to the rink every day and he's ready to compete. No, he's not a guy who is going to get involved after the whistle, but he's not going to take any crap out there from opposition players, either. He's willing to pay the price and he's the kind of guy we need on this team to help us have success -- especially in the playoffs."

But there are questions about Heatley. He asked for a trade from the Thrashers because he felt he needed a change of scenery following a tragic car accident that took the life of teammate Dan Snyder.

"(Heatley) went through a unique experience in Atlanta and the only reason he wanted to make the change was that tragic car accident. I'm sure that whole experience put an awful strain on him," said Murray.

"I understand that sometimes in players' careers you have circumstances where you feel that you just need to make a fresh start and you are better off to get yourself into a new situation. That must have been tough on him and every time he went to the rink, walked in the dressing room, or even drove home, it must have been a reminder."

That's why Murray wants to make Heatley comfortable from the first day of camp.

HAVLAT ON LEFT WING

Winger Martin Havlat can expect a call from Murray in the coming weeks asking him to play the left side on a line with captain Daniel Alfredsson and likely centre Bryan Smolinski in the middle.

"Obviously, I'm going to have to sit down and talk to some of these guys in the next couple of weeks and see where everybody is going to fit in and what kind of role these players expect to play," said Murray.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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