Fisherwood talk flies

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

NASHVILLE -- Carrie Underwood ducked the media last night.

The country singer, who has been romantically linked to Mike Fisher and lives in a suburb of Music City, was in the Sommet Center and was sitting in a private box on the first level when the Senators centre set up the opening goal by Nick Foligno.

Underwood turned down the chance to do an interview with TSN, whose feed was playing on TVs throughout the arena. At one point, TSN's cameras found Underwood, but the perky 25-year-old songstress ducked out of sight upon realizing she was on TV.

Neither star has confirmed the relationship. Reports indicate they met following a concert last year at Scotiabank Place and it's believed they had a date Sunday night.

Underwood was also spotted at the Sens-Maple Leafs game in Toronto on Jan. 3, watching from a box with Fisher's family.

According to Predators officials, Underwood is in the building regularly, but she's not the only country star that visits.

Singer Vince Gill and his wife Amy Grant are Predators season-ticket holders along with Barbara Mandrell. Singer Kellie Pickler also used to attend regularly while she was dating Nashville RW Jordin Tootoo.

TALKING CONTRACT: The Senators have held preliminary contract talks with D Filip Kuba's agent Rich Evans. While the two sides have agreed to talk again, a decision has to be made on Kuba's future before the NHL trade deadline. He would have to waive his no-movement clause to accept a deal, but that will likely happen if the Senators don't get back into the playoff race. Based on the deal Montreal made yesterday to acquire Atlanta D Mathieu Schneider, the Senators should be able to get a couple of picks and a prospect for Kuba if they decide to make a trade. There are several teams looking for blueline help for the post-season. The Senators would like to move D Christoph Schubert so he can get a chance to play regularly.

OFF THE GLASS: Nashville coach Barry Trotz said yesterday D Shea Weber should be considered for Team Canada in 2010, but he also believes the 23-year-old, 6-foot-4 blueliner is also going to bring home some hardware in his career. "He's going to be guy you're going to talk about for the Norris Trophy for a number of years," said Trotz. "He's got the right stuff as a player. He's big and physical, he's mobile and he's got good leadership skills. He just wants to be better all the time. He's a sponge that way. He's going to be a guy that you haven't seen the best of Shea Weber yet." Trotz said Weber should get a look for Canada along with Washington's Mike Green and Calgary's Dion Phaneuf. "They're the new wave of guys and to me they all bring a dynamic dimension to their game." ... LW Steve Sullivan hasn't scored in the 15 games since he's returned from a two-year absence. "It's just good that he's back. He's a good news story," said Trotz.

AROUND THE BOARDS: There is no timetable for the return of RW Chris Neil, who suffered a lacerated calf on Feb. 7 vs. Buffalo. He had been working out in the gym this week, however, he was ordered by club doctors to stop and is supposed to have the stitches removed tomorrow. "The earliest he'll start skating is next weekend," said Senators GM Brian Murray ... A New York report yesterday indicated the Senators offered a bigger deal to D Paul Mara than the one-year, $1.95-million US contract he accepted with the Rangers last summer.

SPECULATIONS: Nashville C Radek Bonk is day-to-day with an eye injury. The 33-year-old Bonk, a No. 1 pick of the Senators in 1994, will be a UFA on July 1 and the talk is that Preds GM David Poile has been dangling him on the market. Making $1.6 million, Bonk has developed himself into having a strong defensive presence and chips in offensively. The Blue Jackets might look at him as a stop-gap ... Murray and Poile spent a long time talking during the morning skate. They go back a long way because they worked together with the Washington Capitals.

THE MORNING SKATE: One of the great things about visiting Nashville is the honky-tonks on Broadway Blvd. The performers start around noon and work for whatever customers put in the tip jar. While Tootsie's is probably the most famous, I spent some time Sunday night at Legends. The lead singer in the band was wearing a T-shirt which read, "I ran into my ex-boyfriend the other night, so I put the car in reverse and ran over him again!"

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


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