Murray not in position of strength ... Briere family will have Cup presence ... Sbisa should see if Emery has extra clock

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Senators GM Bryan Murray is going to be looking for some post-Christmas blowouts on the NHL trade market.

Still searching for the puck-moving defenceman he's coveted all year, Murray will be able to talk shop with his NHL counterparts when the world junior championship opens Friday at Scotiabank Place as every GM is expected to be in town at some point or another during the tourney.

A league executive told Sun Media yesterday that Murray has been one of the NHL's busiest GMs working the phones, but doesn't believe many of the Senators have much value right now because the club near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The NHL's holiday roster freeze will be lifted Saturday, but a flurry of trade activity isn't likely. As the executive pointed out, there wasn't anybody scrambling to make deals before the deadline went into effect on Dec. 19.

"The problem the Senators are facing right now is the one they've been facing all season: They aren't dealing from a position of strength," said the executive. "Anybody they want (to deal with) is going to want their good players for virtually nothing in return. It's a difficult way to deal.

"Nobody is going to give them a puck-moving defenceman. The teams that have them want to keep them. Antoine Vermette doesn't have a lot of trade value right now. Neither does Christoph Schubert. They're going to have to hope these players get their act together."

AROUND THE BOARDS

The Senators were pondering shaving off the moustaches they've been growing for the last month or so are. The Senators weren't sure yesterday whether they'd agreed to shave after last night's game against the Flyers or on New Year's Eve. "Some guys were hoping (last night), but if they're really team guys they are going to keep it on," said captain Daniel Alfredsson ... Flyers captain Daniel Briere is getting ready to return from a groin injury that has already kept him out a month. He has resumed skating and expects to play during the club's seven-game road trip, which starts Boxing Day in Chicago. "I've been skating for about five days. It's a lot more fun to practise with the team than to practise on our own," said the Gatineau native. "It's getting better every day, but it's frustrating." While Briere is on the West Coast, his boys, Caelen and Cameron, will be in the Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa playing on a team coached by former Flyer Keith Primeau.

OFF THE GLASS

Flyers fans should send a holiday card to Toronto D Tomas Kaberle if they get a chance. Had Kaberle not refused to waive his no-trade clause last February during the GM's meetings in Naples, Fla., C Jeff Carter -- the NHL's leading goal scorer with 25 going into last night's game against Ottawa -- might be with the Leafs today. "Last year, he played well. He had 29 goals and he could have had 45," said Carter's linemate Scott Hartnell. "Just the way he's played. He's so confident. He sees the ice so well. He's a shooter and a lot of nights he's just beating the goalie clean. He's got that goal-scoring touch around the net. Right now, (Joffrey) Lupul and I are just trying to get to the net to create some havoc so he can find a way to put it in." Carter said it's a matter of confidence. "I always knew that I could score," said Carter. "I think this year I just played with a lot of confidence right off the bat." ... Hartnell easily has one of the biggest mops in the NHL right now. You should see the head of hair on the guy.

IN THE STOCKING

It looks like Senators coach Craig Hartsburg might have sending out a subtle message last night. With D Filip Kuba out with what's believed to be a groin injury, Hartsburg split up the pairing of D Anton Volchenkov and D Chris Phillps, who have had their share of struggles. While Volchenkov was with D Alex Picard, Phillips started the game with D Brendan Bell. That only lasted until Volchenkov left after hitting the dasherboard hard only 48 seconds into the first period and didn't return... Flyers C Darroll Powe will be jumping on a flight to Ottawa this morning to spend Christmas with his parents at their home in Kanata. Powe, 23, played with Kanata in the CJHL and was signed as a UFA by the Flyers last April from Princeton University. "It's going to be nice to get home, even if it's just for the day," said Powe. If he's lucky, the weather will co-operate ... Somebody give Philly D Luca Sbisa, 18, a new alarm clock for Christmas. The one he is using didn't work yesterday and he was a healthy scratch because he missed a meeting. Maybe Ray Emery will lend him one.


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