Sens sport a new look

Goaltender Dominik Hasek, shown at practice yesterday at the Bell Sensplex, is one of several...

Goaltender Dominik Hasek, shown at practice yesterday at the Bell Sensplex, is one of several newcomers the NHL team hopes can bring the Stanley Cup to the nation's capital. (Ottawa Sun/Jason Ransom)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

The new-look Senators have a touch of grey, some green and definitely some black and blue.

The Senators yesterday made their final cut and finalized the roster which will start the season tomorrow might in Toronto against the hated Maple Leafs.

The Senators put winger Denis Hamel on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL farm team in Binghamton and opted to keep 21 players on their NHL roster rather than 20.

That meant defenceman Christoph Schubert got a pardon from the governor and will be the club's seventh defenceman. The Senators risked losing Schubert on waivers if they had attempted to send him to Binghamton.

"At the end of the day, we picked the people who we felt right now make us competitive and give us depth and toughness," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

The new faces on the Senators since the last time they played include 40-year-old veteran goaltender Dominik Hasek (your touch of grey) and backup Ray Emery, scoring winger Dany Heatley, green rookies Andrej Meszaros on defence, Chris Kelly at centre and wingers Brandon Bochenski and tough guy Brian McGrattan (your black and blue).

There was confusion over Schubert's status yesterday. GM John Muckler met with the defenceman earlier in the day to tell him he didn't fit into the club's immediate plans, but later had a change of heart.

Schubert thought he was on his way out when he met with the media after practice and clearly wasn't happy with the situation.

"I'm disappointed. It sucks. I thought I had a good camp," he said. "I thought I showed everybody I could play in this league."

After discussions later in the day, Muckler reluctantly decided to spend the money to keep Schubert, who was beaten out for the sixth defenceman's job by the 19-year-old Meszaros, on the NHL roster rather than risk losing him on waivers.

"We want to save cap money because we might have to do something down the line. We don't want to have people sitting around not playing and eating up cap money," said Muckler.

"We did not have enough depth on the blue line that we could let him go for the waiver price," said Murray.

"At the end of the day, John decided we could do this."

As expected, McGrattan, who had made the team on the fourth line's right wing, is the most visible evidence of the Senators' desire to be a tougher club.

"You can't talk the talk and not address (the issue) with the players," said Murray. "They're the ones who have to go out and (play). Our top couple of lines are skilled, good puckhandlers and creative.

"Hopefully, they'll score a lot of goals, but if they don't feel comfortable, that might not be the case. (McGrattan)'s one of the guys who can address the issue that might have to be addressed.

"I know he'll listen and work and be proud to be here."

Muckler said he believes these Senators players know this could be the last chance at Stanley Cup glory for this team as it is.

"All these players are a year-and-a-half older. They're no longer kids, they're young veterans. I think they realize this group might only have once chance to win the Stanley Cup. They realize what's happening in the hockey world, business-wise."


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