Sens could be left waiver-ing

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

BUFFALO -- The Senators are getting ready to do the waive ... possibly goodbye.

While sending players to the minors under the old CBA wasn't a big deal on cut-down day in the past, Senators GM John Muckler and coach Bryan Murray are going to have to make their choices wisely.

Preparing to make final cuts Friday so the club can be as close as possible to its final roster for a pair of weekend games against the Canadiens, the Senators are concerned they could lose somebody on waivers.

Rookies Brian McGrattan, Patrick Eaves and Andrej Meszaros don't have to clear waivers, but there are players who will interest other organizations.

FORWARDS HAVE TO CLEAR, TOO

Defencemen Lance Ward and Christoph Schubert, along with forwards Chris Kelly, Steve Martins and Denis Hamel all have to clear waivers before being sent to Binghamton.

"As a coach, you want to have the best players on the team, but I would think that management is going to want to be careful because waivers come into this," Murray said yesterday.

"There are some guys we're going to have to think about what we want to do before we make a decision because you could have guys getting picked up. It's my understanding that we've had a lot of teams scouting us the last few games."

Sources say the Capitals, Wild, Panthers, Rangers, Blackhawks and Sharks all have cap space to add players if they become available when teams enter their final rosters on Oct. 4.

The Caps have already made one move by picking up left winger Jeff Friesen from the Devils. He is the kind of player who could have helped the Senators, but they can't handle his $2.8 million US salary at this point.

The Caps, Wild, Panthers and Rangers all need help on defence. Meszaros has played well in camp, but he could be a victim of his status if the Senators believe they'll lose Schubert on waivers.

SHORTAGE OF BLUELINERS

There's a shortage of defencemen around the league. The word is the Canucks wouldn't mind adding another blueliner, while scouts who have looked at the Rangers say their blue line is minor-league like.

"Waivers is going to play a role in our decisions, but you want to keep the best players on your team," said Murray.

That being said, the Senators have some tough decisions to make as they head into tonight's pre-season game against the Sabres at the HSBC Arena.

Hamel, Meszaros, Kelly and Ward have all had good camps. Martins looks destined ,for Binghamton while Eaves is getting a shot on the third line with Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher, but isn't expected to stick in Ottawa, either.

"I had a talk with the players (yesterday) and I told them that even the ones who aren't kept here when we make our final roster shouldn't be concerned because we're only going to keep 20 players and they could be brought up here at a moment's notice. They're not going to be far away," said Murray.


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