Senators stick with Eli

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

The goalies themselves are not certain where they'll be -- and there's still no word on the identity of the next coach -- but the Senators' goalie coach is fully expected to return for the 2008-09 season.

"I'm looking forward to getting back at it," Eli Wilson said after putting in some time at the office yesterday.

Just six teams allowed more than the 247 goals surrendered by the Senators in 2007-08. But after year-end conversations in which he indicated he'll be retaining the 30-year-old Wilson, GM Bryan Murray is acknowledging that much of the blame belongs with the team's shoddy defensive play.

Wilson, who signed a multi-year deal with the Senators before last season, remains the owner and operator of his own company (World Pro Goaltending) with a list of proteges including Montreal Canadiens rising star Carey Price. He was previously known here primarily as the personal tutor of Ray Emery, who will be sent packing one way or another this summer.

And while Martin Gerber was the Senators' best player in the playoffs, Murray will eagerly make an upgrade if one presents itself.

"The idea with (Gerber) is to keep his game simple," Wilson said. "When he does that, he has his best chance at success. I thought he gave us a chance to win every night in the playoffs."

Wilson saw Emery at Scotiabank Place yesterday, as the goalie was picking up his off-season program.

"He seemed like he was in good spirits," said Wilson.

He also wrapped up an on-ice session with Brian Elliott, the 23-year-old prospect whose season in Binghamton was ended prematurely by a torn ACL. Wilson says Elliott could play regularly in the NHL now. "I think he could still use more seasoning in the AHL," Wilson said. "If push comes to shove and he had to play, I think he could do it."


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