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Versiune completa: But Hes Working Hard On Keeping His Star Player
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TORONTO - A stretch of six wins in eight games has the Ottawa Senators achingly close to a playoff spot. And this recent run of success also has general manager Bryan Murray re-thinking his plans for the near future with the March 5 trade deadline not too far away. Murray, who on Monday agreed to a contract extension through the 2015-16 season, said his team probably needs another piece — most likely a forward — to make a run this spring. Through Sundays games, the Senators sat two points back of the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, who hold the Eastern Conferences two wild-card spots. "Just watching the progress in the last month and a little bit, I think that the objective now is certainly more than it was a month before," Murray said on a conference call. "We are available to make a deal." As an example, Murray pointed to the July 5 trade with the Anaheim Ducks that landed the Senators Bobby Ryan. Ottawa gave up young forward Jakob Silfverberg and prospect Stefan Noesen to get the winger who filled a void left by Daniel Alfredssons departure. Again, the Senators would be willing to trade from their position of youth in the organization. "We do have a number of players that probably are deserving of playing some games or playing in the NHL that may not get a chance because of our numbers up here that we would talk to teams about for a more veteran-type player," Murray said. Earlier in the season, Murray expressed a desire to upgrade his teams mobility on the blue-line and talked to "a number of teams" about a puck-moving defenceman. That need has been eased by the recall of 20-year-old rookie Cody Ceci, who has been a mainstay since making his debut in mid-December. "Hes young, but we cant get him out of the lineup now that weve brought him up from Binghamton," Murray said. "Hes been real good for us, real solid for us." Like a lot of teams, Murray said the Senators could use a forward who could help in the scoring department or add a physical element. "Either-or, and I think that would address a need on our hockey team.," he said. Perhaps physicality and defensive responsibility should be priorities. The Senators have given up 146 goals in 46 games, which is third-worst in the league. No matter the area of improvement, Murray has limits on how much hell draw from Ottawas prospect pool. Blue-chip centre Curtis Lazar, last years first-round pick, had three goals and four assists for Canada during the world junior championship and is, at least for now, considered untouchable. "Were not moving Curtis Lazar, I can tell you at this point in time," Murray said. "We would make the right common-sense trades if there was something there without robbing what would be our future." The Senators scouting staff is expected to meet soon to draw up a list of trade-deadline targets. "We hope to have kind of an objective by the trading deadline, by the Olympic break, whatever the case may be, and then well see where we go," Murray said. The playoffs appear to be back as the most immediate goal. Murray reiterated that "there are no guarantees in this business," and owner Eugene Melnyk understands that specifically applies to the post-season. "Once the playoffs start, as we all know, anything goes," Melnyk said. "We have to get there first, and then after that, we just cross our fingers and hope for the best." — Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at @SWhyno. Fake Panthers Jerseys . The Bulls seem to be getting along fine without him. D.J. Augustin scored 27 points in a start for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson matched a career high with 26 filling in for Carlos Boozer as the Bulls improved to 7-2 since trading the popular Deng with a 98-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Panthers Jerseys 2020 . Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe? It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. . The fourth-year guard from Carleton University kicked off his varsity career with rookie of the year honours in 2011, before racking up three straight Mike Moser Memorial Trophies for outstanding player. Florida Panthers Store . - Rookie Tesho Akindele scored three goals and Fabian Castillo added two in FC Dallas 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night. Custom Florida Panthers Jerseys .Y. -- Phil Jackson lost out on his preferred coach, but hes working hard on keeping his star player.ST. LOUIS - The slumping Cincinnati Reds have activated Brandon Phillips from the 15-day disabled list and inserted the second baseman into their starting lineup at St. Louis. Phillips was placed on the DL on July 11 after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He was batting sixth for Monday nights opener of a three-game set against the Cardinals. Phillips is wearing a brace to prevent the thumb from bending backward but had two hits his last rehab game. "I would not say hes 100 per cent like brand new and that may not be until spring training of next year," manager Bryan Price said. "But hes definitely good to play." Phillips return comes at a crucial time for Cincinnati, which was swept in a doubleheader at Colorado on Sunday and is barely hanging on in the playoff race.dddddddddddd The Reds also got third baseman Todd Frazier back after missing three games with lower back stiffness. "Todd is probably not 100 per cent either, but good enough to play," Price said. "These guys want to play, it says a lot about the character of our team." The Reds activated reliever Logan Ondrusek from the DL and optioned right-hander Dylan Axelrod and catcher Tucker Barnhart to Triple-A Louisville. Right-hander Curtis Partch, who served as the 26th player for Sundays doubleheader, was returned to Louisville. The team has not determined a starter for Thursday night. ' ' '
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