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Howdy from Ottawa, where the sun is out on a Senators game day. OV8, Semin, Backstrom and Green are in town to face our boys in the battle of the capital cities. Is going to be a tough one, Sens will do good to gain a point in this one. Also of note is Jason Spezza left practice early yesterday with a sore back. He maybe out as C Peter Regin has been called up from 'Bingo for his NHL debut. If you read my blog yesterday on our farm team, you would have read a little blurb about the Denmark native. He is big and has some offensive ability so we'll see.

Bryan Murray, who is forever trading/not signing puck-moving defensemen only to complain about not having a puck-moving defensemen made the $412,000 decision to NOT pickup D Cory Murphy via waivers. The Islanders (the worst team in the league by 8 pts.) passed on Murphy because they are both cheap and want to throw the season to get John Tavares or Vic Hedman. If you don't believe this is the truth, lord have mercy upon you. Atlanta decided against Murphy because they are flush with puck-moving defensemen. When it was Ottawa's turn to decide on the Kanata, ON native, our hard-luck GM decided to pocket the $412,000 (base salary of $800,000, half the season gone) and continue on with his slow, non-offensive defense. Next up was Tampa and they wasted no time. Smart move as Murphy collected an assist while QB'ing the Lightning's PP last night vs Dallas.


Why didn't Murray take a flyer on the very affordable Cory Murphy? God knows, I don't. Murphy has been hurt all year and is in no position to ask for much of a raise over his $800,000 a yr deal he currently has. Also he is a UFA at the end of the season, so really what's there to lose at this point? He is young enough to be signed to a 2-3 yr deal if he turned out and if not, send him on his way. I had thought for sure the Sens were going after Cory due to his great skating ability, offensive skills and cheap contract. Instead they pass and stick with the more expensive Schubert whom they could have put on waivers upon signing Murphy anyways so to actually save money ($83,333 more a yr for Christoph compared to Cory).

Either way it's to late now, but I would love to hear a reason why this move wasn't done if the Senators are as serious as they still sound about making a run to the post-season. I know I am receiving some well informed email's from a few readers stating the season is done and the Sens should tank to get a high draft pick. I disagree with both suggestions and really there is no way for a team to tank with Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson. Do you actually think we could drop below the Islanders? Have you seen them play this season? Come on folks, I know this season hurts alot but our boys will be much better in the second half of the season.

Colin Jeffrey - [email]colin_jeffrey@hotmail.com[/email]

www.mvn.com/senatorsrow
Filed Under:   Ottawa Senators   NHL  
January 20, 2009 12:01 PM ET | Delete
If you ask me, they're doing a damn good job of tanking just as they are. This team has 70% of the peices it needs to be aplayoff contender. Problem is that most of that is in the top line and in the form of Defensive D-men. I seriously think the Sens have budget problems, because they let go of waaaaay too many players in this off season. Losing Mezaros was really the last straw. Murray needs to start making moves, because his charming lisp and tell it how it is attitude will not save his job past this season if things aren't shaken up. Where's all those talented prospects the organization has been bragging about?
January 20, 2009 1:14 PM ET | Delete
Hey ndk thanks for the comment. The Sens are going to be fine come the 2nd half of the season, but it's going to be a struggle to make the playoffs. They will be nowhere near a lottery pick however. As for the budget problems, this club has a $53 million dollar payroll in a very small market. I expect money to be slashed in the offseason if companies don't renew ad space/suites due to the economic down turn. Still picking up Murphy off waivers and dumping Schubert onto waivers would have potentially saved the Sens 80 grand. Finally Bryan Murray is as good as gone, no question about it.
January 20, 2009 1:29 PM ET | Delete
Bryan Murray probably passed on Murphy because he has already decided who he wants and how he wants to rebuild the team.In retrospect, the lack of 'blue chip' UFA signings last summer can be seen as the beginning of a transition towards Murray's budget-conscious, defense-oriented philosophy, Craig Hartsburg being chosen to deliver the message on the ice. IMHO Murray will move some bodies out this year without taking on more salary, and play the kids from Bingo. Assuming that the players currently signed remain for the duration of their contracts, the Senators would shed 9.3MM in cap space through UFA attrition this summer, and a further 11.3MM the following season.This creates a fiscal picture that allows Bryan Murray to reconstruct the team.Whether or not this happens is, of course, impossible to predict.
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