Chara, Redden in Sens' future

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

Senators GM John Muckler has no intentions of allowing defencemen Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden to walk away from Ottawa.

Muckler told the Sun yesterday that he remains confident the Senators will be able to re-sign the the team's top two blueliners, who are eligible to become unrestricted free agents July 1.

Muckler confirmed he and assistant GM Peter Chiarelli have held initial talks with agents for both players and discussions are going to continue in the next few weeks to try and get deals done.

GM NOT PONDERING DEAL

Yes, the March 9 trade deadline is approaching, but Muckler said he hasn't given any thought to trading either Redden or Chara if they fail to have deals in place by then.

"We've had preliminary discussions and we're going to continue to talk," said Muckler prior to last night's visit by the Maple Leafs. "We want to keep both of these players and I'm confident we can keep both of these players if they're willing to take the money that we're prepared to offer them."

Since both would be valuable on the free-agent market, the Senators are going to appeal to the fact that if Chara and Redden want the chance to play for a contender then Ottawa is their best bet.

While there are obviously going to be changes in the off-season, Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Mike Fisher are signed for next year, and centre Jason Spezza and winger Martin Havlat are restricted free agents. So the Senators' core should remain intact.

"We know that (Chara and Redden) like the team and they both like the community and they've got a good chance to win here," said Muckler. "We want them to stay here and we want to keep them. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get something done."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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