With the Ottawa Senators extending their win streak to nine games on Saturday afternoon after a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over division rival Montreal, there wasn't much the Sens could do wrong.
Now, Ottawa is shooting for ten wins in a row at Buffalo tomorrow night to extend their franchise record win streak. Winning solves plenty of problems and all the trade talk during the Sens five game losing streak has quieted down a bit but it still hasn't stopped Ottawa GM Bryan Murray from making phone calls in an attempt to improve his team. Over the past few months, Murray has focussed in on a few players and it wouldn't surprise one bit if one of the following below is an Ottawa Senator come March 3rd.
Matt Cullen/Aaron Ward – Carolina is looking to move both players who are set to become UFA's this summer. Ottawa would have to package Chris Kelly and Brian Lee I am told. Lee will never play in a Sens uniform again while Kelly is expendable with Zach Smith sitting in the wings waiting for his chance to become a fulltime NHLer.
Ray Whitney – Another Hurricanes player that Carolina GM Jim Rutherford would like to trade if they return is solid. Ottawa would wait until after the Olympics to acquire Whitney due to a bigger salary compared to that of Cullen.
Dan Hamhuis – UFA this summer and Nashville wants a young forward and defenseman in return. Once again, Kelly and Lee could fit the bill here. I am sure a draft pick would have to be a part of any package.
Andrew Brunette – Lee has been mentioned the most as part of any trade in Minny. Lee a Minneapolis native would give the Wild a young defensemen as Minnesota only has three defensemen under contract next season. The Wild would want more in return than just Lee.
Fredrik Modin/Raffi Torres - Columbus will move one, if not both of these forwards. Murray has talked to the Jackets on a few occasions and would be willing to move a draft pick and Lee to acquire one of these two forwards.
Personally, I think Murray needs to strengthen his back end and add a defensemen that can play a physical style and hopefully fit into the Sens top 4 on the blueline. Depth at forward would be a bonus for Murray.
Again, this is a quick summary of what I have heard for the past 2 months and with the trade deadline a month away I wanted to post a list of possible scenarios that Murray is looking at.
Quick Binghamton Sens notes -
The Baby Sens signed defensemen Neil Petuic on the weekend to supposedly strengthen the blueline. He has played in the AHL/ECHL this year and is a re-tread who has spent 2 seasons in Binghamton prior to this stint. I am told it's a sad state of affairs right now in Bingo with the team losing 4 in a row. One source close to the team told me and I quote, “The defense is just too young and most of them belong in Elmira for another year before coming here and the goalies are paying for it.” The source goes on further and states that, “Murray needs to do something to send some reinforcements or the season is
going to get ugly really soon.”
Does this signing mean the Sens are close to dealing Brian Lee or is it that bad down in Binghamton on the blueline? I believe it's a bit of both. Lee isn't in the Sens future plans but his play has been downright awful the last few weeks. Bingo needs a healthy body down there ready to go in case Lee is traded.
That is why I find it quite hilarious that the Sens go out of their way to say that everything is fine with their AHL affiliate a few weeks ago, right after I wrote a piece about the possible move of their AHL team. If I was part of the ownership group in Binghamton, why would you want to renew your affiliate agreement with a team that doesn't care at all about what goes on with the farm team? More than ever I am convinced that when the agreement between Ottawa and Binghamton expires after the 2011-12 season, Ottawa will be looking for a new city to house their AHL affiliate. Can you say the Cornwall Senators?!?!
As always, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.