Varada fourth-right

Senators forward Vaclav Varada said he's not convinced he'll still be a member of the club come...

Senators forward Vaclav Varada said he's not convinced he'll still be a member of the club come playoff time. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

BOSTON -- These are tumultuous times for Vaclav Varada.

For a proud guy who loves playing hockey as much Varada does, he's having a tough time figuring out what his role -- or lack thereof -- is with the Senators.

Varada, as the Sun reported, has been troubled by the fact he's only been playing an average of five minutes under coach Bryan Murray and summoned agent Ritch Winter to Ottawa for a meeting with GM John Muckler.

Varada's biggest problem has been a knee injury he suffered in training camp, which undermined his ability to show Murray what he could do. And since he's returned to the lineup, he's been stuck in a fourth-line role while making a salary of $1.2 million US.

With only five minutes of playing time a game, his salary and one assist in eight games ... it could lead a guy to believe his days are numbered with a team.

"John just told me I had to be patient," Varada said prior to the club's flight here. "I'm fully healed. I'm ready to go. I'm in good shape. I just want to play.

"It's not up to me to decide how much I'm going to play and other guys are playing ahead of me. I just don't think (Muckler) will keep me to play 4-6 minutes a game. We will see if he is going to be prepared to do that. If not, I'm not sure what is going to happen."

NO TRADE TALK

Muckler said dealing Varada has not been discussed.

"I know what he can do and he did a pretty good job for us for the last (18 months)," said Muckler. "The team is playing extremely well and we've got some people who are contributing.

"It would be extremely difficult for Bryan to move (Varada) up in the lineup. He is going to have to wait. What he has to remember is things don't always stay the same and they're going to change.

"There could be changes to the lineup because of the way people are playing or injuries. He was injured in training camp and he didn't really get a chance to show (Murray) what he could do. I know he wants to play, but he has to be patient. Do I understand how he feels? Definitely, but there's nothing we can do at this time."

Varada said he is struggling with his confidence because of the lack of playing time.

"If things are going to change, I will feel better," said Varada. "The situation is not good for me. I'm glad the guys are playing well and we are winning games.

"I just want to play more. I think I'm a better player than to just play five minutes a game. In the last game, I didn't have many shifts. What can you show the coach if you are not playing? I just have to try to do the best that I can do in this situation, but it's not easy because I want to play more."

Muckler said part of Varada's problem is he wants too much to happen at once. Murray is having plenty of success with the top three lines and there is no reason to make any changes at this time.

LEFT WINGERS PLAYING WELL

Besides, where would Varada fit? Dany Heatley, Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher have all played well on the left side. That could change if the coaching staff decides to move Fisher back to centre at some point.

As Varada was speaking, the atmosphere around him was lighthearted. Other players were laughing and joking ... and they have plenty of reasons to smile going into tonight against the Bruins.

"I like the fact that we're winning, but I would like to feel part of the winning," said Varada. "Right now, I'm not feeling like I'm part of it, but the guys in here have been great to me."


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