D big deal for Murray

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

TAMPA -- Senators GM Bryan Murray is stepping up his search for a puck-moving defenceman -- and he's now looking at giving up a roster player to get a deal done.

Murray is increasingly determined to acquire a top-end, veteran blueliner with the Senators down in 12th in the Eastern Conference heading into tonight's game against the Lightning.

Reluctant to give up a roster player, Murray admitted yesterday he has started to lay the groundwork for a trade with a couple of GMs.

"We need a skill back-end guy. That's the main area of concern right now," said Murray. "If we could get a veteran in that spot with the right years on the contract, that's the kind of guy we'd like there."

Murray would rather add without subtracting from the roster, by getting a blueliner for a prospect or draft pick.

But if the Senators don't start playing the kind of consistent hockey Murray wants, he'll increasingly look at offering up a roster player.

MUST BE BETTER

The GM is understandably pleased the Senators snapped their four-game skid this week, and are coming off wins over the Buffalo Sabres (5-2) Monday and Florida Panthers (2-1) Thursday.

But "they've got to be better," he said.

"I'd like to see us play a little longer and see where the team is really," said Murray. "We've won a couple of games and we're back a little in the hunt, but we've got to be better than that. We certainly have to put ourselves back in a position of a playoff spot going forward."

Murray's also keeping a close eye on several players.

"I just want to watch some of the players, who to this point in time haven't done everything we thought they should do and will do."

Murray hasn't been pleased with the lack of production from forwards Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette.

"They have to score some goals ... They're both good players and they both work hard and they're both fast guys, but the bottom line is they have to get some points for us," said Murray.

"We talk about obtaining secondary scoring. They're the scorers. They're capable of doing it. They've proven they can do it. We want them to do it. I know they're pressing a little bit right now. I know that's what happens when you don't have it (scoring) happen.

"But Mike Fisher, over his career has been a streak guy. When he gets one, he'll get five in a row. I want that start like maybe (tonight)."

Fisher and Vermette aren't the only Senators on Murray's radar.

PRAISES AULD

"I'm still trying to see where we fit and there's a couple of young guys I want to see how they produce and perform and there's a couple of veteran guys have to do more than they're doing. If they don't, we'll have an ongoing struggle to score goals," he said.

On the defensive end, however, Murray is pleased.

"I like the way (goalie) Alex (Auld) is playing right now. I thought (against Florida) it was a game where we weren't getting any bounces, but we were battling hard. It was a real tight game and we found a way to win. Will we continue to do that or will it be a struggle every night to get goals?

"What I have to have is a little patience. But if we don't start winning more than we lose, you have to start looking at a possible move or two."


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