The Senators are keeping their options open up front.
While the club is still holding talks with unrestricted free-agent centre Mike Comrie, league sources say GM Bryan Murray has also held serious discussions with Penguins winger Petr Sykora — also a UFA — and he’s at the top of the Senators’ radar screen if they can trade Dany Heatley before training camp.
The Senators would like a big forward back, but indications are Murray isn’t sure that will happen.
So, he’s held talks with the 34-year-old Sykora, who had 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points in 76 games last season while making $2.5 million (all terms US). But the Senators aren’t the only team pursuing the 13-season NHL veteran with 300 career goals.
The Flyers and Wild are both seeking help up front, after they were rebuffed in their attempts to acquire Alex Tanguay, who agreed to a one-year, $2-million deal with the Lightning.
Murray and assistant GM Tim Murray could have the edge in trying to land Sykora. They were together for two seasons with the Ducks
(2002-04), during which Sykora had 57 goals.
The Senators would like to sign either Sykora or Comrie if they don’t get scoring support back for Heatley, a two-time 50-goal scorer.
The issue is they’re $1.3 million over the cap. As it stands, they’ll likely have to move one or more of the following: D Jason Smith ($2.6-million cap hit), D Alex Picard ($800,000) or F/D Christoph Schubert ($883,000) before the season.