On a winger and a prayer

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

KITCHENER -- Bryan Murray is putting his search for a winger on hold until after training camp.

While the Senators GM would like to add a veteran winger before the puck drops on the regular season Oct. 3 against the Maple Leafs, he admits it might be difficult.

Murray told the Sun yesterday that he's going to continue to pursue another veteran winger, but it could be November before anything gets done.

Ideally, Murray would like to bring in somebody who could play on the right side of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, a spot occupied by captain Daniel Alfredsson last season.

"I talked to a couple of GMs here at the rookie tournament and they all feel that they want to start (the season) with what they have," said Murray. "They all feel that they want to start by putting a younger player on their team if they have to and can.

"We're the same way. Our lineup is in a manner that if we're able to add one younger player and one depth player, we'd probably feel pretty good until we lost some games. It's only after the season starts, when you win or lose, that your mood changes accordingly. There will be some possibilities, but it may take a month into the season."

Murray said he tried to land unrestricted free agents during the off-season, but had to drop out of the running for the likes of winger Bill Guerin because the Senators simply didn't have the money to spend under the $50.3-million US cap.

LOST THREE PLAYERS

"Over the summer there were some people available, but we just couldn't afford (them) because of the commitment we've made to some players. I talked to a number of agents about a number of the better players," said Murray.

"We'll find out over the next little while if there's some adjustments in our lineup or finances that might help us. For the time being, I think we have a good team coming off a long playoff run."

There won't be a lot of new faces when players report for medicals Thursday at Scotiabank Place. Only Tom Preissing (Kings), Mike Comrie (Islanders) and Peter Schaefer (Bruins) are no longer with the team. Veteran Shean Donovan was acquired for Schaefer.

"(Financially), we definitely couldn't have kept guys like Preissing, Comrie and Schaefer," said Murray. "We just felt we had to make some adjustments to allow some space under the salary cap going into the year. Being able to keep the changes to a minimum leaves us in fairly good shape to start the year."

Murray repeated he's not trying to move goalie Martin Gerber, but didn't rule out a deal down the road.

"I'm not active at right now. We're going to camp with the two guys we have. Our goaltending is in good shape. If something happens in the goaltending, or any other area, I'm certainly open to discuss it. We're fine where we are."

55 POSSIBLY IN CAMP

Murray is confident the club, which will have as many as 55 players in camp, is in good shape.

"We're set up pretty well," said Murray. "Our numbers are adequate. We've got an opening now for hopefully a younger player who will see a chance coming into camp. At some point, in late September or early October we'll have to make a decision if that's adequate or not.

"Overall, I think we've got a good team and a good group coming back."


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