Senators eye O'Neill

Jeff O'Neill, who spent the last two seasons with the Leafs, could be of interest to the Senators....

Jeff O'Neill, who spent the last two seasons with the Leafs, could be of interest to the Senators. (Sun File/Stan Behal)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Free-agent winger Jeff O'Neill, who flopped in Toronto, could be on the Senators' radar screen.

While O'Neill's agent Ian Pulver confirmed to the Sun he's talked to Senators GM Bryan Murray about the former Maple Leafs winger, it's not known if the door is still open for him.

With the Senators searching for a top-six winger to play on the right side of Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, it's believed the 31-year-old O'Neill turned down an invitation to come to Ottawa for a meeting with Murray.

The Senators wanted to meet with him face-to-face. But O'Neill isn't ready to make any decisions. It's not known what kind of contract O'Neill, who made $1.5 million US last season, would be seeking and talks with Ottawa never reached the point where term or money was involved.

"Jeff O'Neill continues to review all of his options," said Pulver.

O'Neill, who spent the last two seasons with the Leafs after being dealt there by the Carolina Hurricanes for a fourth-round pick in 2006, is at his home near King City and spent the summer working out with Detroit Red Wings centre Kris Draper, who is known as a fitness guru.

Murray, who has also kept in touch with Peter Forsberg's agent Don Baizley, has admitted he's looking for a top-six forward and it's believed it was O'Neill's camp that showed the initial interest.

O'Neill can play a rugged style and might be able to step in with Heatley and Spezza.

O'Neill had issues with the Leafs, but he had 20 goals and 22 assists in 74 games last season, averaging 13:43 of ice time. He was a healthy scratch at the end of the year as the Leafs missed the playoffs.

The Senators are going to look at different options in the next couple of weeks. Minor-league winger Niko Dimitrakos continued to skate alongside Spezza and Heatley yesterday, but the Senators are going to try different wingers in that spot.

Expect to see Shean Donovan get a shot before the end of camp. Donovan has been skating with Chris Kelly and Patrick Eaves, but the club likes his speed and he has shown offensive prowess in the past.

"He skates really well," said Murray. "I would think he'll get a shot there. But, we're going to try different people. I wouldn't even be certain that we may not use Daniel Alfredsson in there."


Videos

Photos