Sens' centre of attention?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

The Senators could be looking at a former Nashville Predators captain to fulfil their need for more strength up the middle.

Unrestricted free agent centre Greg Johnson, who is still shopping for a new home, has piqued the interest of the Senators and many believe he could be a perfect fit.

While Johnson's agent Tom Laidlaw, a former NHL defenceman, said he hasn't spoken with Senators GM John Muckler yet, he believes Ottawa does have interest in his client.

The remaining options on the free-agent market for centres are limited: There's Johnson, Yanic Perreault and former Islanders centre Michael Peca, who is going to come with a high asking price.

That's why Johnson would make sense for the Senators. He would allow the club to use either Antoine Vermette or Chris Kelly on the left side, where the club is lacking in depth.

"What we've had is what I would call for preliminary discussions with Ottawa and we haven't gone any further at this point," said Laidlaw.

"I've got a call in to John Muckler and I'm waiting to hear back from him because I know that Greg is the kind of guy who would suit their needs."

The 35-year-old Johnson, who's spent the last three seasons as captain of the Predators, has interest from several teams, but ideally he'd like the security of a deal that runs longer than one year.

Not only is Johnson a respected faceoff man, he's also got strong leadership capabilities and isn't going to break the Senators' bank -- he made $1 million last season with the Predators.

'WELL RESPECTED'

"The one thing you get with Greg is a lot of intangibles," said Laidlaw. "He can play any role you want, he's got good speed, he has grit, he wins faceoffs and he's just a tremendous individual who is well respected by his teammates."

The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues may also have an interest in Johnson.


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