Senators hope to have contract talks with Heatley, Spezza, Fisher - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Senators hope to have contract talks with Heatley, Spezza, Fisher

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Sens GM Bryan Murray has twice touched base with Forsberg's agent Don Baizley this summer in the hope the Senators would provide a good fit.

"But I haven't talked any further to Don Baizley," Murray said Wednesday on a conference call. "I suspect that if Peter's ready to play sometime this year he'll have a variety of teams that he will investigate and make a decision.

"I hope we're in the ball park but I don't know that at this time."

Baizley said he's received calls from most of the league's 30 teams but his answer has been the same to all of them - he's not ready to talk contract until the 34-year-old Forsberg figures out whether his surgically repaired ankles can handle the workload of a 12th NHL season.

"No change there," Baizley told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "Not until he's at a place where he's confident that he can play this season at his level of standard."

Forsberg earned US$5.75 million with Philadelphia and Nashville last season, when he collected 55 points (13-42) in 57 games.

Either way, Murray hopes to add a top forward to his lineup between now and the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

"We would like one more forward, there's no question about that," said Murray. "We've got a couple of young candidates, that through rookie camp and training camp, will step up to some extent. But there's no question, when you're one of the better teams, you'd like to have a little more experience to try and help and fit in right away.

"That's what I think we need."

Meanwhile, Murray also hopes to retain some star power from his current roster past this season. Star sniper Dany Heatley and clutch two-way centre Mike Fisher are slated for unrestricted free agency next summer while top centre Jason Spezza will be a restricted free agent.

Murray said he hopes to touch base with their agents in the near future.

"We will be proactive as much as we can be," Murray said. "We'll find out where the numbers have to be for them and then we'll have to make some decisions. They'll be hard decisions, no question about it.

"But very definitely, we're interested as early as possible to talk and see where we can get to with them."

Spezza doesn't think the contract situations will distract himself or his linemate Heatley.

"I think they'll be talked about quite a bit so we'll have to be used to dealing with the questions about it," Spezza told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "Obviously we've had pretty good success the last couple of years together. We hope that something can work out.

"We're both here for the long run but we just have to go out and play and let all that kind of business stuff take care of itself."


with files from Canadian Press sportswriter Neil Davidson in Toronto