Sens will be able to deal with depth on defence
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Senators defenceman Filip Kuba could become expendable one all of the team's blueliners are healthy. (File photo)
VANCOUVER — Bryan Murray spent a long time in the stands during Sunday’s morning skate speaking with Mike Gillis.
Yes, the Senators left with defenceman Filip Kuba on board.
Whether the Senators GM and his Vancouver counterpart actually talked trade during their chat is only speculation, but it’s well-known the Canucks are looking for defencemen and Ottawa will have extras sooner or later.
But Murray isn’t in any hurry to make deals with his club in the thick of things. The Senators have needs, but as they closed out a three-game Western road swing here there doesn’t appear to be any desire to deal.
The Senators aren’t in a cash crunch since their payroll is nowhere close to the salary cap. Once defenceman Matt Carkner is ready to return from a knee injury, the club will have eight healthy blueliners.
Carkner hasn’t played since February. He’s going to need a conditioning stint in Binghamton as soon as he can play, so it’s likely going to be early December before he plays again for Ottawa.
The Senators have the option of sending defenceman David Rundblad to Binghamton. He’s on a two-way contract, was a healthy scratch again in Vancouver and has had difficulties adjusting to the North American game.
Don’t be surprised if that happens. Erik Karlsson was sent down for a month during his rookie season and it did him a world of good. The Senators wanted him to find out that nothing can be taken for granted at this level.
Moving a defenceman will be an option for Murray, just not at the moment.
THE WHINY CANUCKS
Are the Canucks the most-hated team in the NHL? After former Bruins W Mark Recchi ruffled feathers out here when he told a Boston radio station last week that “in 22 years, (the Canucks) are the most arrogant team I played against,” the players have been coming to their own defence. “I don’t know (if we’re the most-hated),” said Canucks D Sami Salo. “It might just be the style of hockey we play. We play with a lot of emotion and maybe that’s the reason. I don’t know.” Veteran D Kevin Bieksa suggested Recchi might want to shut up. “Isn’t he retired? What’s he doing? Tell him to go play a round of golf or take a nap. Why is he chirping us?” Bieksa told the Vancouver Province.
OFF THE GLASS
Senators coach Paul MacLean joked Friday he liked everything about Karlsson “but his stick”. That’s because the Easton model Karlsson has been using has been breaking regularly. “I’m using the same stick as everybody else,” said Karlsson. “Maybe I’d have two goals (if he used a different model). It might be the way I’m shooting. I don’t know why they break every game.” Karlsson said he believes he may just gotten a bad batch and that the next order will last longer. “I don’t know what it is, but right now I’m just breaking sticks.” ... With Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby returning to the lineup Monday for the first time since January, the Senators won’t have to wait long to see him, as Ottawa will pay a visit to Pittsburgh on Friday.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Told the Senators hadn’t won here since 2004 before Sunday’s game, D Chris Phillips didn’t miss a beat. “We have a tape recording of what was said in Calgary and we’re going to play that again,” said Phillips. “I can’t remember what was said, but it worked. It was a while since we won in there, so we’ll try to do that.” Before a 3-1 victory Tuesday, the Senators hadn’t won in Calgary since 2003 ... The Canucks recalled G Matt Climie from AHL Chicago to dress as the backup to Cory Schneider. G Roberto Luongo, who is out with an undisclosed injury, was on the ice for the pre-game skate. “I don’t think he’s going to be out long,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.