Boxing Day bargains on Sens GM's mind

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 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 today at Scotiabank Place. Every GM is expected to be in town at some point during the tourney.

A league executive told Sun Media yesterday 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 is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The NHL's holiday roster freeze will be lifted tomorrow, 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 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."

CHRISTMAS WISHES

Philadelphia Flyers fans should send a holiday card to Toronto Maple Leafs D Tomas Kaberle if they get a chance. Had Kaberle not refused to waive his no-trade clause last February during the GM 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.

"He sees the ice so well. A lot of nights he's just beating the goalie clean. He's got that goal-scoring touch around the net. (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."


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