GM's forward thinking

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

GM Bryan Murray is looking to acquire a Top 6 forward with the Senators stung by injuries. Just don't expect a quick fix.

While Murray has held trade talks, he indicated before the 4-3 loss to Philadelphia Saturday that he's going to be patient.

With Patrick Eaves (shoulder) gone for an extended period and captain Daniel Alfredsson (groin) day-to-day, the Senators -- who have dropped three straight and 4-of-5 -- are being put to the test.

"Having an extra Top 6 forward allows for injuries and allows for a lot of things that happen like (Eaves and Alfredsson) being out," Murray told the Sun. "That's always the ideal scenario to be able to do that and we're going to pursue that, without a doubt.

"However, we know full well that until teams are eliminated from the playoffs, we're probably not going to be able to make many deals for that quality of a player."

His options are limited:

- Unrestricted free-agent C Peter Forsberg is a longshot after returning to Sweden yesterday. Forsberg visited a doctor in Phoenix and is expected to resume skating after getting his injured foot checked out.

- Columbus C Sergei Fedorov could become available at the trade deadline, although the Blue Jackets got off to a quick start and are in the playoff race. Fedorov played for Murray in Anaheim and Detroit. He has won a Stanley Cup and could be a good fit with the Senators.

- UFA RW Marian Hossa could be dealt at the dealine if he doesn't re-sign with the Thrashers. He's another longshot with contract talks being held and Atlanta back in the playoff race.

The Senators' biggest obstacle could be money.

"It is a match of money now, without a question," said Murray. "If you don't have dollar-for-dollar in your trade, unless you give up a first-round pick or a real top prospect, it's very difficult to make a trade."

The Senators are confident Alfredsson will return Wednesday vs. the Islanders at Uniondale to provide a boost both offensively and as the club's top defensive player.

"I think (Alfredsson) will only miss one game, but we don't know that for sure," said Murray. "I'm really disappointed for (Eaves) because I think he was an important and getting better every night, but it's not a panic situation. We've got a couple of (prospects) in Binghamton and we can always take a chance there if the need (arises)."

One prospect is F Niko Dimotrakos, who could be called up if the Senators demote rookie F Alexander Nikulin.

DON'T DWELL ON MINUS: C Mike Fisher isn't worried about his minus-4 rating in the Flyers game, although he believes it's a first for him. "It's one of those nights where things were going in against me. I had some good chances and I just couldn't bury them. Hopefully, we won't see that number again." Randy Robitaille, who was playing on Fisher's left side, was also minus-4. Coach John Paddock also isn't worried because he felt G Martin Gerber should have made more stops before he was pulled in the second. "That combination was not very good," said Paddock, but noted: "You're a minus if the puck goes in on a 40-foot slapper that you see a hundred of every day in the first two drills of practice. I don't know if that was Fisher's fault. Did Fisher have a good game? Obviously not. Plus/minus to me ... is something that is really important for certain players who play against the best players, like our defencemen."


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