No trade deadline keepers for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

Senators GM Bryan Murray isn't likely to find a goalie by Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.

That task will likely have to wait until the off-season.

Nobody is ready to throw Brian Elliott under the bus -- or in this case back on one to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton -- but it's pretty clear after the Senators' 4-3 OT loss to the Maple Leafs on Saturday that Murray is going to have to take a long look at his goaltending.

After being pulled in three straight starts, Elliott didn't look very good on Pavel Kubina's game-tying and game-winning goals Saturday and the first goal he allowed Jamal Mayers was no masterpiece either.

The options are limited for netminders at the deadline.

- The Blue Jackets are ready to deal G Pascal Leclaire, but his season-ending ankle surgery in January and the two years remaining at an average of $3.8 million (all terms US) are going to scare teams off. Leclaire, 25, had a 4-6-1 record with a 3.83 GAA before being injured and has lost the No. 1 job to Steve Mason. The Senators would likely pass if the Jackets were to offer Leclaire for W Antoine Vermette.

- The Thrashers have held talks with several teams about G Kari Lehtonen, but the sense is he won't be dealt and Atlanta will wait until the off-season. The talk is the Wings and Capitals have shown interest in the 24-year-old, which means the Senators would likely be at the bottom of the list.

- Chicago G Nikolai Khabibulin is injured and there is no timetable for his return. It wouldn't make sense to go get him now -- unless you're a playoff contender -- because he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 when he can be had without giving up any compensation.

Same goes for three other pending UFAs: New Jersey G Scott Clemmensen, Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom and Boston G Manny Fernandez.

For now, the Senators will have to live with Elliott and Alex Auld.

OFF THE GLASS

The Blues are going to make a serious pitch for Ducks D Chris Pronger and could be offering up LW David Perron as part of a package in return. The Ducks are almost sure to deal Pronger, who has one year and $6.25 million left on his contract. He probably wouldn't mind returning to St. Louis, where he played for seven seasons. The Bruins have shown mild interest in Pronger as have the Capitals, Leafs and Flyers ... The Kings have been fielding calls for D Sean O'Donnell, but there's a strong belief he'll be re-signed. Los Angeles D Tom Preissing returned from injury yesterday against the Blackhawks and the Kings hope to move him ahead of O'Donnell ... The Sharks, Oilers and Bolts are looking for a depth defenceman. They might take a look at Ottawa D Christoph Schubert, who is sidelined with a groin injury.

AROUND THE BOARDS

The Panthers haven't made a decision on what they're going to do with D Jay Bouwmeester, a potential UFA. A league source said yesterday that GM Jacques Martin is lining up the offers and he's got some good ones. The belief is the Flames, Oilers, Capitals, Flyers, Leafs and Devils have all made a pitch. Tough decision for Martin, but he might decide he needs to make sure the organization doesn't lose Bouwmeester for nothing. Bouwmeester told the Miami Herald last night that he'd like to finish the season with the Panthers. "We're doing well, and obviously I'd like to be here to see what we can do, make a run at it. Whatever happens, happens. We'll see," said Bouwmeester ... Washington has made C Michael Nylander a healthy scratch the last two days, leading to speculation he'll be dealt ... Six or seven teams have called the Leafs about C Dominic Moore ... Any truth to the talk the Flames are looking at Colorado W Ryan Smyth? The Kings and Habs have definitely shown interest ... The Bolts are trying to move Fs Vaclav Prospal, Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi.


Photos