No changes planned for Sens ... yet

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

All is quiet at Scotiabank Place and that's the way it will stay for the next couple of weeks.

Senators GM John Muckler said yesterday he doesn't expect to make any changes before training camp opens Sept. 14.

With the possibility of having as many as 10 new faces in the lineup when the season opens Oct. 4 in Toronto, Muckler is going to take some time to let the battles develop in camp.

"We want to see where everybody fits in training camp and I don't think we're going to do anything else at this point," said Muckler. "We've done a lot this summer.

"This is probably the most changes that this club has made in a long time and we want to see how it all looks before making any more decisions."

The Senators are expected to officially add one new face before the players report for medicals and have their first on-ice session Sept. 15: Russian centre Alexei Kaigorodov has been given permission to attend camp and sign a deal if he makes the squad.

The Senators have been trying for three years to get Kaigorodov out of Russia, but given the circumstances surrounding the departure of Pittsburgh prospect Evgeni Malkin, Muckler is choosing his words carefully. He wouldn't discuss Kaigorodov and wouldn't give any confirmation he will be in camp.

"I'm just not going to say anything," said Muckler.

Still, Kaigorodov's arrival should help up front. The Senators dealt centre Bryan Smolinski and winger Martin Havlat to Chicago last month in a deal that brought defenceman Tom Preissing and prospects. Tyler Arnason left as an unrestricted free agent to Colorado and Vaclav Varada signed in Switzerland.

BIG D CHANGES

The defence will see the biggest changes with the free-agent departures of Zdeno Chara (Boston) and Brian Pothier (Washington). The Senators signed former Los Angeles King Joe Corvo and added former Nashville Predator Jamie Allison as a depth player.

In goal, former Carolina netminder Martin Gerber, signed as a free agent on July 1, will be counted on with Dominik Hasek no longer in the picture.

"Some of the changes we made were necessary and others were the result of the system and that's going to take some time for everybody to get used to dealing with," said Muckler. "I'm not blaming the system. I believe the system is good and it's going to work for everybody. But you're not going to be able to keep everybody with a salary cap in place."

Signing Jason Spezza, Wade Redden, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Peter Schaefer, Christoph Schubert, Antoine Vermette and Brian McGrattan this summer wasn't cheap.

If Kaigorodov receives the rookie maximum -- about $1.1 million -- then Ottawa's payroll could be in the $42 million range. It won't leave much room if Muckler wants to make a deal at the deadline or keep extra players around. That's why if the Senators decide to make a move for a left winger, there will likely have to be a defenceman going the other way.


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