Advice lands Commodore UFC tickets

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Mike Commodore is on a roll.

After finishing tied for his pathetic team's lead in playoff points, the Senators defenceman has now scored tickets to the Georges St-Pierre-Matt Serra UFC extravaganza in Montreal tomorrow. All 21,000-plus chairs at the Bell Centre were spoken for months ago, snapped up just moments after the two fighters signed the contract, but Commodore is fortunate enough to be going as the guest of his new financial adviser.

"I might have to get a haircut first," the big redhead said with a chuckle yesterday. "The Habs fans might heckle me."

After that, Commodore is going to Raleigh, N.C., to collect the belongings he didn't bring with him when he was traded here from Carolina. Then, partly because he didn't want to go home to Calgary when Flames-mania was still in high gear, he has decided to move to San Diego. On the advice of the adviser.

"I'm going to go out there and live on the beach," Commodore said. "That's my plan. That's all I've got going."

It'd be interesting to hear what the adviser suggests he should do about his career. Commodore is one of the seven Senators (not including five more on the farm in Binghamton) who are currently eligible to become unrestricted free agents July 1. It's expected Wade Redden and Randy Robitaille won't be offered contracts. GM Bryan Murray and his staff are now left to decide whether they want to bring back Commodore, Cory Stillman, Chris Kelly, Shean Donovan and Martin Lapointe.

Commodore, who initially had trouble adjusting to the Senators' system, settled in as Chris Phillips' blue-line partner in the playoffs. He averaged more ice time (20:13) than all defenceman except Phillips, and finished with a relatively respectable minus-1.

While disappointed with the early elimination, Commodore said he personally felt great heading into and during the short post-season run.

"If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago, three weeks ago, I'd have a definite answer for you. It would have been a definite not a chance," Commodore, who made $1.3 million (all terms US) last season, said when asked if he wants to come back. "But you know what, I like the guys here. Contrary to what everybody says, (that) guys hate each other, it's a bunch of B.S. I like the guys here, I enjoy the city, so we'll see. It's my first time becoming an unrestricted free agent, so we'll see what happens. I don't know. There's a chance that I could be back."

Commodore was just getting on a roll just before he rolled out of town. With his presence, both on the ice and in the room, the Senators should make every effort to try and bring him back.

Starts and stops

Stillman, who made $1.75 million, would like to re-sign with the Senators. But the Peterborough native wasn't prepared yesterday to state he'd take a close-to-hometown discount. "I don't know if you'd go with that," said Stillman, who was playing with a Grade 2 MCL sprain yet was still Ottawa's only two-goal scorer in the series. "I'd like to come back. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm going to get what I want or I'm going to accept what they want to give me. But hopefully we can work out a deal that is fair, and that I can be a part of this organization." ... W Dany Heatley had Ottawa's worst plus-minus rating in the playoffs, at minus-5. Who was the only Senator to be a plus? Answer below ... No way the Senators bring Lapointe back at his current salary of $2.4 million. But if he is agreeable to a significant drop-off, who knows? Murray likes him, and Lapointe wants to return. Asked yesterday if he still had some hockey left in him, the 34-year-old Lapointe was at first light-hearted with his response. "If you ask my wife, I have a lot of hockey left in me. She doesn't want me home," he joked, before turning serious. "I think I have a lot of energy left. I still got the fire in me. Once I don't have the fire, it's time for me to quit."

Between periods

Kelly said yesterday he would have likely been able to return for a Game 5 from the fractured bone in his lower leg he suffered March 22. "I was working hard to get back just like everyone else," he said. "Obviously, it wouldn't have been 100%, but you can't wait for it to be 100% in the playoffs. A lot of guys showed that." ... If you're Murray, do you give Kelly a raise up near the $2-million mark (from the $1.2625 million) that he'd likely be offered elsewhere, knowing full well his value on the ice and how much he's liked by his teammates? Or do you expect his role can be capably filled by Cody Bass? The rookie proved he can be a full-time NHLer as the playoffs went on. Along with a regular shift he's a good penalty killer and a physical presence, Bass is not afraid to drop the gloves. Most significantly in this salary-cap era, his wage is scheduled to drop from $525,000 to $510,000. "I hope so," Kelly said when asked if he thinks he can reach a deal with the Senators. "I've been here three years and I'd like to come back and make this home. We'll see what happens".

It makes you go hmm...

Jason Spezza says the Senators shouldn't make too many changes. "Bryan Murray's not going to fix it," said Spezza, who confirmed he was playing on a Grade 1 MCL sprain. "I think as players, we have to fix it." Maybe so, but our money is still on Murray making a major trade this summer .... Robitaille, who played two games and averaged 11:32 of ice time, was the lone Senator to be on the ice for more goals for than against. He was a plus-1 ... A reporter asked Ray Emery for his phone number, just in case he had to contact the goalie in the off-season. "I'm changing it soon," Emery said with a laugh. Must have meant he's losing the 613 part.


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