|Ottawa Senators General Manager John Muckler will try to make sense of his team's season at a press conference tomorrow. (Ottawa Sun File/Sean Kilpatrick)
So far, nobody has been fired in the heat of the Senators' 4-1 series defeat to Buffalo. But that doesn't mean there won't be sweeping player changes.
It's doubtful Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who remained silent yesterday, will lower the boom on his management team.
Ken Villazor, Melnyk's spokesman from Biovail Corp., said in an e-mail there is no press conference or statement scheduled. That means all those calling for the head of GM John Muckler or coach Bryan Murray aren't likely to get their wish.
Muckler, 72, who will have a press conference with the Ottawa media tomorrow to discuss the season, has two years remaining on a three-year deal. It's believed Murray is going into the final year of his contract.
As the fans burned up The Team 1200 phone lines for 16 hours following Saturday's stunning 3-2 overtime loss, the players had yesterday off to deal with the shock.
Today, they'll have a 10:30 a.m. team meeting at Scotiabank Place and then go their separate ways after individual meetings with Murray and the staff.
"Any time you lose, it's disappointing," said Murray. "The changes we make will be up to (Muckler)."
The Senators have only $17 million committed in contracts for next season. If the salary cap rises to $42.5 million, Muckler is going to have plenty of room to spend. There is ability to make changes because the Senators will have 12 restricted free agents and four unrestricted free agents come July 1.
While the Senators will try to sign defenceman Zdeno Chara, they have a better chance of keeping Wade Redden. Chris Phillips could be dealt.
Sources say Muckler would like to improve the centre position. The Sens have cap room to make a pitch for Colorado captain Joe Sakic, who will be one of the most attractive free agents. But if he doesn't stay with the Avs, he'll likely sign with either Anaheim or Vancouver
"We didn't get the job done and you know when that happens there are going to be changes," said Senators centre Jason Spezza.
With Dominik Hasek likely heading for retirement and concerns about Ray Emery, the Senators may also look for a No. 1 netminder.
Boston's Andrew Raycroft, San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov, Anaheim's J.S. Giguere and Buffalo's Martin Biron will be available through trade. Unrestricted free agents include Carolina's Martin Gerber, Montreal's Cristobal Huet, Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson and Phoenix veteran Curtis Joseph.