All eyes are on Bryan Murray.
With just over a week to the Feb. 27 trade deadline, many are wondering if the Senators GM is going to pull the trigger or stand pat to see if this group can make the playoffs.
While Murray told the Sun last week he’d like to add a piece to help the Senators get to the post-season, he’s won’t at any cost. As we head into the final week of bidding, prices remain unreasonable.
“They’re still high,” said a league executive Saturday.
The Senators are interested — along with the Bruins, Rangers, Flyers, Hawks and Predators — in Carolina C Tuomo Ruutu, a pending unrestricted agent July 1, to add secondary scoring.
Talk he’s off the market is contrary to what a league executive told the Sun.
“Not to my knowledge he isn’t,” said another executive Saturday.
Ruutu, who suffered an upper-body injury last week, wants a four-year deal in excess of the $4.5 million former Carolina winger Erik Cole received from the Canadiens last summer.
But getting Ruutu, or any other rental, would likely be costly for the Senators.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford would either want an top prospect (perhaps Mark Stone or Stefan Noesen) along with a first-round pick.
That’s not going to happen.
The Senators will certainly look at Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, but also not at any cost. If the Isles’ P.A. Parenteau is available, he’ll be a candidate, as will Colorado’s T.J Galiardi.
Senators players aren’t holding their breath.
They’ve watched Murray operate and they know if he can do something, he will. But they won’t sit around waiting for help.
This group of players has defied the experts, some who picked the Senators to finish last in the Eastern Conference, by putting themselves in a playoff position entering the stretch drive.
“We’ve got good chemistry in the room and we like what we have,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson. “The situation we’re in, if (Murray) feels he can add some depth to us, maybe he will.
“But I also think everybody knows the situation that we’re in: We don’t want to give up all the assets that we have to get something for this year. I know he works hard at trying to make a move and help us if we need it. At the same time, he’ll be respectful of the chemistry and atmosphere we have in the room.”
If Murray is going to make a deal, he’d like to do so without subtracting from the roster.
However, sources say he has been listening to offers for blueliner Filip Kuba.
Several teams are looking for defencemen and Murray has to gauge the market.
It’s doubtful Kuba, a looming UFA this summer, will be dealt because he’s developed good chemistry with Erik Karlsson. But don’t rule it out.
Fellow veteran blueliner Sergei Gonchar could also get a chance to go to a contender.
If Murray does nothing, the players will be fine with it.
“(Chemistry) is important. We’re a hardworking team and we have production from everybody,” said centre Jason Spezza. “We’ve done that all year and I know that we’ve got a good feeling in this room.
“At the deadline, I’m sure (Murray) will add if he feels the need to. I don’t think he feels like he has to do something drastic for the team to help right now that would hurt us going forward.”