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Stanley Cup Final

Gonchar focused on playoffs, not trade deadline

Sunday, 03.17.2013 / 12:12 PM
2013 Trade Deadline blog

Sergei Gonchar is a vital part of the defense for an Ottawa Senators team with hopes of getting back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He's also a 38-year-old blueliner whose contract expires July 1, and according to the Ottawa Sun, Gonchar's representatives and the Senators have not had any talk about a new deal to keep him with the team.

So could the Senators look to move Gonchar prior to the April 3 NHL trade deadline?

Gonchar, who has 15 points in 25 games while playing 24:34 per game -- second on the club to Erik Karlsson, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury sustained Feb. 13 -- said he isn't concerned with any off-ice issues.

"It doesn't worry me," Gonchar told the Ottawa Sun. "I know we have to do well, I have to do well and everything [will] take care of itself. You can't go out there and think about it or worry about [it]. That won't do any good for you or your teammates. That's why I don't even think about it."

To Gonchar, all that matters is getting back to the postseason. The Senators enter Sunday 2-0-2 in their past four games, and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

"It's going to depend on the way we play," Gonchar said of his future with the Senators this season. "You have to think about it logically, and I've never had a discussion with Bryan [Murray, general manager], but what I'm thinking is if we have a chance to make playoffs, [he'll stay]. If some reason we're not, which I hope is not going to be the case, then that [a trade] is another way to look at it. My focus is the game. You can't worry about what-ifs, would-haves or could-haves. That doesn't do any good."

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery