Sens May make a deal

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

John Muckler has been shopping at the GMs' meetings in Florida this week, but he's finding out there are no bargains.

Of course, if the Senators GM really wants to make a big deal before the deadline, he could ignore the naysayers and make a trade for Panthers winger Gary Roberts.

However, a source told the Sun late yesterday another interesting name has surfaced on Muckler's radar screen: Colorado winger Brad May, who played for Muckler with the Sabres, is a UFA on July 1 and doesn't come with a list of demands.

With the deadline set for Tuesday at 3 p.m., there are complaints everywhere about the prices being charged by GMs who are out of the playoffs and don't have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

The market was set by Stars GM Doug Armstrong last week when he acquired Phoenix winger Ladislav Nagy for a prospect winger Mattias Tjarnqvist and a No. 1 pick.

"That's the asking price everywhere," an NHL executive said. "All these teams that don't have a chance of making the playoffs want a No. 1 pick and a player who can help them right away. A lot of the contending teams are just saying, 'Forget it. We'll go with what we've got.' "

Essentially that's what Florida coach and GM Jacques Martin wants from Muckler for Roberts. Florida is looking for either centre Antoine Vermette or winger Patrick Eaves, along with Ottawa's top pick in 2007 in exchange for the 40-year-old Roberts.

Winger Martin Gelinas is also an option for the Senators, but the asking price is similar. It should be noted that Muckler was behind the bench in 1990 in Edmonton when the Oilers won a Stanley Cup with Gelinas, who was acquired in the deal that sent Wayne Gretzky to the Kings.

Sources say Vermette is the player Martin really wants from the Senators. Vermette has good speed and has shown that he's got the ability to be a great two-way player. He'd get a chance to be a second-line centre in Florida.

Muckler, however, has insisted he doesn't want to give up anything off his current roster and that's why there has been no trade. There's also the stumbling block of Roberts insisting on a contract extension in the $2- million US range.

Roberts would be a positive influence in the dressing room. He's close friends with Senators centre Jason Spezza and he'd be able to fill the right side with left winger Dany Heatley.

The Senators have also held talks with the St. Louis about winger Bill Guerin, but the asking price there is the same: A young player who can help right away and a No. 1 pick or two No. 1 picks.

NHL insiders believe asking prices will go down as the deadline gets closer.

And if demands aren't scaled back, the Senators may simply go into the playoffs with what they have.

While centre Mike Comrie has been a great addition, he's another player with a lot to prove in the playoffs.

Last week, Senators coach Bryan Murray noted that getting a player before the deadline can provide a boost and send a message the club is serious about getting to the next level.

What kind of boost would a Roberts, Gelinas or Guerin provide?

That's up to Muckler to decide and the clock is ticking.

RUMOURS DU JOUR: If the Sharks can't land Montreal D Sheldon Souray, it's expected they'll make a pitch for Los Angeles D Rob Blake ... Phoenix is getting ready to dump salary: G Curtis Joseph, W Owen Nolan, C Jeremy Roenick and C Kevyn Adams have all been put up for grabs by GM Michal Barnett. There's been some chatter that Adams and Joseph could be sent to the Sabres for G Martin Biron. While Biron is headed for unrestricted free agency, there's talk Phoenix would sign Biron to an extension right away to stabilized their netminding ... The Blues are also trying to move W Jamal Mayers ... The Senators continue to talk with D Chris Phillips about a new contract, but offers have been exchanged ... There's talk Minnesota might move C Todd White. The Habs could be interested.


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