Cup quest begins anew

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Now what?

The Senators arrived back at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport yesterday, their dream of winning the Stanley Cup dead, thanks to the Ducks.

While the Senators will gather one last time as a team tomorrow to clean out their lockers at Scotiabank Place, it won't take long before the off-season of change begins.

The Senators went to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in modern history, but owner Eugene Melnyk isn't going to sit still. He wants to win a title. To do that, changes will have to be made.

Here's a glimpse at areas that have to be addressed:

- GM John Muckler: He has a year left on his contract and then a deal to stay on as a consultant. There is talk the 73-year-old will retire. Muckler said during the playoffs he's not sure if he's going to be back next year. Muckler did a good job getting the team to the final and his move to get Mike Comrie turned out, for the most part, to be a good one. Does Muckler want one more shot?

- Coach Bryan Murray: An unrestricted free agent July 1, the club has to sign him to a contract. The speculation in hockey circles is that if Muckler retires, then Murray will take over as GM, with John Paddock moving into the role as coach. Muckler said if he stays, he wants Murray as his coach. Does Murray want to remain under that scenario? It's going to be interesting to watch how this plays out in the next couple of weeks.

- D Wade Redden: He struggled in the playoffs and had a tough season in general. Redden said all the right things when he re-signed last off-season, passing on his chance to test the free-agent market. But the season was a disaster. Sources say the Oilers will make a pitch for Redden. The Oilers have three first-round picks in this year's draft, but the Senators are going to need to get an offensive defenceman in return if they deal Redden.

- G Ray Emery: He will become a restricted free agent on July 1 after making $925,000 (all terms US) this season. He is due a big raise. The Senators are prepared to go to arbitration with Emery, but they do have one concern: Will anybody make Emery a Group II offer sheet worth $3.99 million and risk giving up No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 picks in next year's draft? There are a number of teams looking for goaltending help -- including the Bruins, Panthers and Blues. That would force the Senators to match. Several league executives believe somebody is going to get a Group II offer this year.

- G Martin Gerber: He signed a three-year, $11.1-million contract last July 1, and things didn't work out. Scheduled to make $7.4 million over the next two years, the Senators will try to trade him before the draft. If the Senators can't move him, they might buy Gerber out. That would cost Ottawa about $4.9 million, spread over four years.


Videos

Photos