It's D-cision time for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- The future of three of the league's top blueliners could be decided this weekend.

While the Senators are expected to hold face-to-face sessions with the representatives for Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden, the Toronto Maple Leafs might finally get a handle on where Bryan McCabe stands.

The indication yesterday was McCabe is ready to sign the five-year, $28.5-million (all figures US) deal that has been sitting on the table for three weeks.

"He's almost decided to follow through on the deal," said a league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

As for Redden and Chara, it could come down to whether Sens owner Eugene Melnyk will open up his wallet wide enough.

The word is Redden is seeking between $6-$6.5 million on a new deal, but talk won't go away the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a pitch if he isn't signed by July 1. The Senators may ask Redden and Chara to take similar contracts.

Sources say Chara hasn't named his asking price yet and that's something a meeting between Muckler and agent Matt Keator is going to decide.

Redden's agent Don Meehan said there were no formal discussions planned this weekend, but it would only make sense for the two sides to get together with eight days before both players can go to market.

"They've got to try to at least keep one of these guys -- they can't afford to lose them both," said a league executive.

KEEP AN EYE ON QUINN: Before deciding to hire former Montreal coach Alain Vigneault on Tuesday, the Canucks took a long, hard look at former Toronto coach Pat Quinn. Sources say Quinn, 63, fired by the Leafs in April, was interviewed by Canucks GM Dave Nonis. There are whispers Nonis had concerns about what kind of power Quinn might try to wield. Quinn's relationship with Toronto GM John Ferguson Jr. was professional, but they rarely saw eye-to-eye when it came to personnel decisions. Nonis is still a young GM who is getting his feet wet and needs a coach who is going to listen to his ideas and, more importantly, use the players that are brought in. There's talk Quinn can be tough to work with and that's why he didn't get much consideration. Sources say incoming Boston GM Peter Chiarelli, who had dinner with Quinn in Ottawa last week, is also being warned to be careful about Quinn. One strong possibility in Beantown is former Detroit coach Dave Lewis.

IS LUONGO MOVING: Florida Panthers GM Mike Keenan isn't happy with the way contract negotiations are going with Roberto Luongo, but sources say he's not seriously listening to offers for the star goalie ... yet. It's believed several teams -- including Detroit, Toronto and Los Angeles -- have called to see if Luongo is available. The word is Luongo is building a big home near Fort Lauderdale and doesn't want to move. A scenario that may make sense for both sides is a one-year deal to avoid arbitration with Luongo and then trying to get a long-term contract done during the regular season ... The Leafs are getting ready to buy out G Ed Belfour and the word is they're eyeing Carolina G Martin Gerber, who lost his job to Cam Ward during the run for the Stanley Cup.

THIS AND THAT: Now that Vigneault is behind the bench in Vancouver don't be surprised if he hires former Senators coach Rick Bowness as an assistant. The Coyotes didn't renew Bowness' contract ... Speaking of Phoenix, there was a rumour yesterday the Senators were looking at sending Martin Havlat to the Coyotes in exchange for Shane Doan. Sources insist that's nothing more than speculation ... Octagon Hockey officially announced yesterday it's signed New Jersey LW Patrik Elias. He will be represented by Allan Walsh and Mike Liut.


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