|The Sens have offered Andrej Meszaros deals in the range of one to five years, but his agents have rejected them all. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)
Is defenceman Andrej Meszaros ready to Bolt?
While The Hockey News reported last night on its website that the Senators defenceman had agreed to terms on a contract "in excess of $5 million (all terms US)" per season with another team, two league sources insisted that no formal offer sheet has been filed with the NHL.
Sources told Sun Media last night that Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie have told the Senators they intend to pursue Meszaros if Ottawa doesn't deal him to the Bolts, but the indications are GM Bryan Murray doesn't feel the least bit threatened.
Based on a yearly salary of $5 million, the compensation for signing Meszaros would be a first-, second- and third-round pick.
Tampa doesn't have its 2009 third-round pick, having dealt to it the Penguins for the rights to Ryan Malone prior to the winger becoming an unrestricted free agent. Malone signed a long-term deal with the Lightning.
"Unless they're going to make a trade to acquire a draft pick, they don't have what it takes to sign him to an offer sheet," said a league executive. "Anything can happen, but nothing has happened yet and I'm not sure anything will."
If Tampa was to acquire a third-rounder and sign Meszaros to an offer sheet, the Senators could simply match the offer and retain the 22-year-old.
Meszaros' agent, Ritch Winter, had no comment last night.
Earlier in day, Murray didn't have a lot of nice things to say about the Meszaros camp.
"There isn't (an update on contract negotiations). We've tried to make presentations with a variety of offers and term," Murray said during a briefing at the Bell Sensplex. "But they've been rejected to this point in time, so there is nothing more.
"We're some distance apart."
While the two sides have held discussions off and on all summer, they've made little progress.
The Senators have offered Meszaros deals in the range of one to five years, but his agents -- Winter and Gerry Johansson -- have rejected them all.
As Sun Media reported last Sunday, sources say the Senators have offered Meszaros a five-year deal in the $3.5-million per season range.
"I thought one of the offers would be very, very fair, but to this point in time it hasn't been discussed very much," said Murray. "They've basically just said, 'No' and 'this is what we want and this is the term we want' and there has been no movement.
"I think we've made more than a fair offer. We've put ourselves in a position where he can come here be a top defenceman. We need their camp to help us in that area as well and that's the message we've been trying to get across. But, to this point, we haven't gotten there."