UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Stay the course.
With the NHL trade deadline less than a week away, owner Eugene Melnyk told Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 in Toronto on Monday that the club isn’t going to go on a spending spree just to get into the playoffs.
Melnyk didn’t rule out GM Bryan Murray trying to move the contracts of expensive veterans if they’re able to get young players who will grow with the team.
That means defencemen Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba could be on the move by 3 p.m. next Monday, although Melnyk said Murray told him no changes are necessary.
“You have to stick to the plan,” said Melnyk. “You can never plan on where you’ll end up as far as No. 13, No. 10 or No. 7. You do stick to the plan: Growing from within and draft well. We came into this with a three-year plan.
“We went the hard way. That’s the only way. You rid yourself, if you can, of very expensive old players who aren’t producing. You bring in hungry young kids that will do anything to continue with (their) NHL career.”
Melnyk said the club won’t overspend just to finish seventh and get eliminated in the first round.
“As tempting as it may sound, nothing changes,” said Melnyk. “You spend a boatload and you come in No. 9. You look like an idiot. You’ve got to be prudent and patient. Continue to be focused.
“Do we want to be the belle of the ball? We want to. (But) we’re not going to gamble the future for short-term gain. (We) won’t blow money to get to the second round.”
TOUGH DAY FOR P.A.
Keep an eye on P.A. Parenteau. The 28-year-old Isles winger and Hull native is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and contract talks have been halted with hopes of making a deal in the off-season. While the Isles would like to keep Parenteau, GM Garth Snow can’t afford to lose him for nothing. The Senators, Kings, Sharks and Leafs are all looking for depth at forward. “He’d be an unbelievable pickup,” said Senators C Zenon Konopka, a former teammate of Parenteau. “He’s the most underrated player in the league. He battles in all three zones. The puck is on his stick most of the game. He controls the game. Johnny (Tavares) is the superstar, but usually Parenteau is the playmaker. He’s a diamond in the rough for whoever gets him. It’d be nice to see him in a Senators uniform.” Murray and assistant Tim Murray were in Long Island. Parenteau didn’t do himself any favours by taking a 10-minute and game misconduct in separate incidents. He was thrown out in the third after he had his stick broken by Kuba and then tossed it in a fit of rage.
THIS ’N’ THAT
It was game No. 1,111 for No. 11. Did Daniel Alfredsson know about the unusual milestone? “It doesn’t really mean much unless I can score my No. 411 in my career,” Alfredsson said before the game. “What am I at? 409 ... If I could get two.” The Senators captain did hit the post in the second and missed the net on a breakaway in the third. So why did Alfredsson choose No. 11? Was it because he was born on Dec. 11, 1972? “I could have chosen No. 11 or No. 22 once I made the team (in 1995),” he said. “It was Antti Tormanen and myself. I got to pick first so I chose No. 11 and he got No. 22. That was the only options I had, really.” By the way, Alfredsson is listed at 5-foot-11 ... Milan Michalek did a great job keeping Michael Grabner from getting a shot off on a short-handed breakaway in the first. “That was big,” said Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. “If they score there, that’s a different game.”
AROUND THE BOARDS
How have the Senators got back on the winning track? Fast starts. They’ve now scored the first goal in the past five games ... Isles fans gave former D Denis Potvin a nice round of applause during a timeout on the 20th anniversary of having his No. 5 retired. Potvin wanted to wear No. 7 when he arrived on the Island in 1973, but it was taken ... D Chris Phillips had his second power-play goal of the season to tie a career-high set in 2002-03.
THE FINAL BUZZER
D Brian Lee was relieved to score for the first time since Nov. 14, 2009 — ending a 99-game drought. “It had been a long time. It was good to get that off my back,” said Lee. “I never looked at (the stat) because it was a little depressing. It just felt good to see it go in.” ... C Jason Spezza was named the NHL’s third star of the week after scoring three goals and adding four assists in the Sunshine State sweep.