Senators dump Schaefer

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Bryan Murray's first trade as GM of the Senators was extremely lopsided.

He dealt a $6.67-million contract for a $925,000 one.

Along with freeing up cap space, Murray swapped speed and skill for speed and size when he sent left winger Peter Schaefer to the Boston Bruins yesterday for former 67's right winger Shean Donovan.

Schaefer has three years left on a deal that will pay him $2.1 million, $2.3 million and $2.3 million. Donovan, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder who is entering his 13th NHL season and joining his seventh team, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

"I've been talking to Peter (Chiarelli) for up to a week and we finally did it (Monday) night," Murray said, referring to his counterpart in Boston and a former Senators assistant GM. "(Donovan) is a big guy who skates really well and is physical on the forecheck. He's a good role player.

"We're trying to add a little spice to the lineup. Every time we played Boston, Shean was a real factor. You won't get a lot of offence from him, but he has speed and he can get in on the forecheck, and after the finals we know the importance of that."

It's not like the Senators can't use the extra money. Murray says despite ongoing discussions, it looks like the team will keep its arbitration hearing date with Ray Emery, slated for next Tuesday. Chris Kelly and Christoph Schubert are also likely to keep their hearing dates.

Schaefer had his best season here in 2005-06, when he scored 20 goals and 30 assists.

Schaefer, who was rewarded with a four-year deal last summer, was a disappointment in 2006-07. He had just 12 goals and 34 assists in 77 games last season, despite spending most of it on the second line and seeing time on the second power play unit. He also had just one goal and five assists in 20 playoff games.

"Peter requested to be traded a couple of times," revealed Murray, who was told by Chiarelli that Schaefer will be skating on the B's second line. "I don't know that he was totally happy with his own play. He didn't get the points like a player in that position should get."

Murray added that trading Schaefer will allow him to move Antoine Vermette to the second line with Mike Fisher.

"Vermette was playing with Kelly on the third line and he showed he could do a little more offensively," said Murray. "We'd like to give him that chance ... I think he'll jump at the opportunity.

"This also allows Patrick Eaves to become a regular player on the team."

Schaefer will be remembered as a quiet guy who used a wildly curved stick and had a flamboyant wardrobe that included a full-length fur coat.

"There were rumours (of a trade) and I think he wondered about it," said Fisher. "It's sad to see him go. He was a good guy. But that's the NHL now, all the teams are trying to get under the cap."

The Senators also announced yesterday that they have signed defenceman Matt Kinch to a one-year contract. Kinch, a 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Red Deer, was a former fifth-round pick (1999) of the Buffalo Sabres.

Last year he had four goals and 24 assists for the Straubing Tigers in Germany.


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