Subscribe to become a SENS ARMY INSIDER today!

  • RSS

Sens still waiting on Meszaros

New contract for restricted free agent all that's still left on Murray's plate

Thursday, 08.28.2008 / 3:34 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
Share with your Friends

Sens still waiting on Meszaros
Bryan Murray can’t wait to get his new-look Ottawa Senators into training camp.

He remains hopeful Andrej Meszaros will be among the group that arrives at Scotiabank Place on Sept. 16, when the Senators take their first step toward the 2008-09 season.

A new contract for the restricted free-agent defenceman is the only piece of unfinished business left over from a busy summer for the Senators general manager, whose team has undergone a serious revamp since it suffered a first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs last April at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The two sides have exchanged several proposals through the summer months but Murray admitted today “we’re some distance apart.”

Jesse Winchester (left) and Shean Donovan take a breather during an informal Senators on-ice workout Thursday at the Bell Sensplex. The team reports to Scotiabank Place for training camp on Sept. 16.
“We’ve made more than a fair offer,” he said. “At this point, I don’t know where we are exactly, but it doesn’t sound like we’re very close.”

There were conversations over the weekend but Murray said "it could be that (negotiations) won't happen (again) until next week." He added there is no "Plan B" at the moment to fill for Meszaros if the stalemate drags into the regular season.

With training camp set to open in less than three weeks, Murray believes it would greatly benefit both sides to have a deal in place by then. Especially with a new head coach, Craig Hartsburg, on hand to steer the team in a new direction. 

“I hope (Meszaros) is in camp,” said Murray. “We’ve talked enough back and forth that we both know the importance of a young player being at camp.… I want every player here. What we’ve tried to do over the summer is change the makeup of our room and the character of our team.

“With a new coaching staff and a little different approach (compared) to where we were at last summer, I think it’s really important that everybody be at camp.”

Over the summer months, the Senators parted ways with veteran defenceman Wade Redden, goaltender Ray Emery and enforcer Brian McGrattan while bringing hard-nosed blueliner Jason Smith, agitating forward Jarkko Ruutu and goaltender Alex Auld into the fold.

Three of the club’s top young talents – forward Nick Foligno, centre Cody Bass and defenceman Brian Lee – finished last season in Ottawa and are expected to be in the mix when the Senators open their season Oct. 4 in Stockholm against the Penguins. Murray also feels forward Jesse Winchester, signed as a college free agent late last season, has a chance to be an impact player.

The Meszaros situation aside, Murray likes what he sees in the season ahead.

“I think we have a good hockey team. I believe we have a good hockey team,” he said. “We’ve moved a couple of people aside that were regarded as more talented. In turn, I think we’ve brought into our room the type of person and player that, on the ice in critical game situations, will really perform for us.

“I know, in talking to a couple of our players, they really are looking forward to getting it going again after the short playoff run last year. I’m really excited about having a look and seeing (the team).”




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02