Much attention has been focused on the rebuilding going on in southern Ontario, but there's another reconstruction effort that's taking shape in the eastern part of the province.
As the Senators have sunk to 15th in the Eastern Conference, GM Bryan Murray has begun to dismantle his team. He's said there are very few players off limits, a list that likely includes All-Star defenseman Erik Karlsson
, rookie goalie Robin Lehner
and team captain Daniel Alfredsson
In the last eight days, he's bid farewell to forwards Mike Fisher
, Chris Kelly
and Jarko Ruutu, and today goalie Brian Elliott
. In return, he's gotten first-, second- and sixth-round picks in the 2011 Entry Draft (plus a conditional 2012 pick) plus a goaltender Murray thinks could start for the team next season in Craig Anderson
And with 10 days left before the Feb. 28 deadline, he might not be done.
When Murray made the Fisher trade, he said he wanted to start moving out veteran players to make room for a number of youngsters he expects to be arriving on a full-time basis next season.
"I feel we have some real top young players coming," Murray said then. "Robin Lehner
, Erik Karlsson
, Jared Cowen
, David Rundblad
, a couple forwards I could mention. We are going to have to open the door for some of these younger players to play come September. To do that, the hard part of the business is saying goodbye to some of the veteran players."
Other veteran players rumored to be on the move are forwards Alex Kovalev
and Chris Neil
and defenseman Chris Phillips
, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, but will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK