The Ottawa Senators have apparently thrown in the towel on this season and rebuilding is expected to begin soon. Read on for the details.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL/OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: all reported the Senators front office has finally decided to give up on their hopes of making the 2011 playoffs and being rebuilding their roster. Senators general manager Bryan Murray is expected to finish the season as general manager and will then move into a senior advisory role with the team. Head coach Cory Clouston will finish out this season as their head coach. It’s believed preliminary talks have been conducted to find a replacement for Murray and should intensify in the off-season. Murray’s replacement will likely wish to hire their own replacement for Clouston. As for the roster, it’s expected the club could commence shopping pending UFAs like Chris Phillips, Alex Kovalev, Jarkko Ruutu and Filip Kuba plus they might even attempt to move Sergei Gonchar, who has two more seasons left on his current contract.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators aren’t believed to have put in a claim for Evgeni Nabokov when he was on waivers as management didn’t see the sense in claiming a goalie they would probably only lose to free agency this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think anyone is surprised by these reports. We’ve been expecting this for weeks. I also can’t help but wonder if Daniel Alfredsson (who lacks a “no-trade” clause) might be shopped or if management might approach Jason Spezza in the off-season and ask if he’d waive his “no-movement” clause if any teams show interest in him. Bottom line is the Senators have a lot of work to do, and their fans should be prepared for a couple of leans years ahead.