Brian Lee languishes in limbo

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:04 PM ET

The GM is trying to trade him, the coach says he works hard in practice, but gives no indication of when he’ll actually play another game, and Brian Lee himself has two words to aptly sum up his situation.

“Frustrated and disappointed are probably good ones,” he said after Senators practice Wednesday morning.

Lee, Ottawa’s first-round pick in the 2005 draft, has been a healthy scratch for 25 games this season. On a team that has been so inconsistent, there is no spot in the roster for the 23-year-old defenceman.

Bryan Murray is trying to move him, but can’t. Surely, Lee’s his contract is part of it — he has a one-way deal that pays him $875,000 both this season and next.

Opposing GMs know what Lee brings, and apparently, they don’t think it’s enough.

“He’s worked hard,” said coach Cory Clouston. “Is it a good scenario, a good situation for him? No. But he’s done everything we could have asked from him, as far as practising hard.

“He’s practised at forward, he’s done a lot of different things. He’s put extra time in after practice and before practice, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Lee, who comes from Moorhead, Minn., says the usual contingent of family and friends will be at Thursday’s game, when the Senators visit the Wild.

“If I do get to play, they’ll be happy to see me,” he said. “If not, I’ll spend time with them at the game.”

Yet it won’t be a comfortable homecoming for Lee, who for a standout season with his high school team in 2005, was named Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey” as the No. 1 player in the state, at that level.

Lee was also named the Associated Press Player of the Year for Minnesota prep boys hockey in his senior year, which also saw him represent Team USA at the world junior hockey championships.

“The guys have been good, they’ve been trying to help me out,” Lee said of his Senators teammates. “I’ve been working real hard, keeping a positive attitude, trying to help out the guys however I can ... (trying to) be ready if and when they do call my number.

“It’s tough, because you’re not going to finish checks in practice ... we can’t afford to have guys hurt. But I’m trying to make it as game-like as possible. I like to do the drills where we have little competitions. I haven’t played a game for two months, at least. It’s been a long time to sit and watch.”


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