The Senators are getting ready to decide Martin Gerber's fate.
GM Bryan Murray told Sun Media yesterday he'll likely put the veteran goaltender on re-entry waivers in the next 48 hours to see if anybody is willing to take a chance on the 34-year-old Gerber.
Sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton last month, Gerber, who is in the final year of a contract paying him $3.7 million (all terms US) this season, could be brought in by a playoff-bound team as insurance.
Before Murray can put Gerber on re-entry waivers, the GM has to clear a roster spot, which means a player on a two-way contract would have to be sent down for a day.
Should Gerber get picked up, the team that claims him and the Senators would each be responsible for half his remaining salary of about $850,000.
Murray confirmed he's had a couple of calls about Gerber.
"There's limited interest from a couple of teams I've spoken with," said Murray. "What I'd like to do is put him on re-entry and find out if there's a market."
Gerber has a 6-6-0 record with a 2.69 goals-against average and .918 save percentage with Binghamton.
The Sabres are looking for netminding help with Ryan Miller out with an ankle injury and there's some belief the Flames wouldn't mind a veteran backup for Miikka Kiprusoff. Current backup Curtis McElhinney is winless (0-3-1) and has appeared in just six games for the Flames this season.
AULD RIGHT TO GO AGAIN?
Senators coach Cory Clouston keeps his starting goalie a closely guarded secret until the morning of the game, but it would appear Alex Auld will tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Auld made 41 saves in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes. Clouston was pleased with the goalie's performance. "(Auld) definitely was a big part of the win, (but) I don't know if I'd say he stole it," said Clouston. "Anytime you can score four goals, it's a pretty big confidence boost for the goaltender knowing that you just have to play a solid game." Auld, who hasn't started back-to-back home games since Dec. 6-8, doesn't take a different approach playing at Scotiabank Place. "For the most part it's the same (as any game). Obviously, there's a little more comfort in your own home. At this stage of my career, it's not a big difference at all," said the 28-year-old Auld. "I felt good right from the start and I've been able to get into a bit of rhythm by playing a little lately. I was able to respond well after a bad goal (by Patrick Eaves) and that's important."
NEIL 'GETTING STRONGER'
RW Chris Neil, who skated for the second straight day in a track suit before practice, is still recovering from a lacerated calf suffered Feb. 7 against the Sabres. There is no timetable for his return, but Neil won't play before Wednesday's trade deadline. The first step for Neil is to resume practising with the club. "I could come in tomorrow and feel a lot better and it's getting stronger every day," said Neil. "It's not just my calf, it's everything else as well. I've got to get my muscles firing on all cylinders again. I've got to be a guy through the season who has to keep going. Being off for nine days, I have to kick-start the engine again."
OFF THE GLASS
RW Mike Comrie is having an "easier" time of it this time around after being traded, thanks to his previous stint with the Senators in 2007. "You feel more comfortable quicker, but it's still only a couple of games (since he was traded from the Islanders)," said Comrie. "When you get traded at this level, it's always a bit of a shock, even if you hear your name through the course of the year. When you come back to an organization like this, it kind of makes it a little easier the way they treat you and with the familiar faces, the transition is easier." ... D Chris Phillips (flu) wasn't on the ice yesterday, but is expected to play tonight.