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Rumor Roundup: Ottawa could see more than just a coaching change

The Ottawa Senators have already relieved coach Paul MacLean of his duties and passed the job to Dave Cameron, but more changes may be coming as the Senators struggle to fight their way out of the Atlantic Division basement.

The Ottawa Senators made headlines earlier this week by firing head coach Paul MacLean and replacing him with Dave Cameron. That might not be the only change in store for the Senators, who’ve won only three of their last 10 games entering Thursday’s tilt against the Los Angeles Kings.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has had defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and forwards Colin Greening and Erik Condra on the trade block for some time. Murray’s also reportedly entertaining offers for center Zack Smith. Garrioch also speculates the Senators GM could draw upon his goaltending depth by peddling Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner to land an impact player. Both are under long-term contracts which could enhance their market value.

Another trade chip could be defenseman Marc Methot, who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Methot recently told Garrioch’s colleague Don Brennan there’s been no contract discussions with Senators management for some time. The 29-year-old rearguard was reportedly seeking over $5 million annually. If Methot’s unwilling to reduce his asking price he could become a trade candidate.

The Senators have been linked to Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart since late last season. Garrioch claims the Senators are among six clubs with interest in Edmonton Oilers left wing David Perron. NHL Network radio host Jimmy Murphy believes the Dallas Stars should inquire about Anderson and Methot, though he offered no suggestion as to what the Stars should offer the Sens in return.

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Stewart, 27, is a two-time 28-goal scorer who would bring size (6’2”, 231 pounds) and physicality to the Senators forward lines. However, he last tallied over 20 goals in 2010-11, and this season has only four points in 27 games. He’s also an unrestricted free agent in July. Perron, 26, is a three-time 20-goal scorer who brings more offensive consistency and is signed through 2015-16, but also has a concussion history.

If the Senators do move a goalie it could be the 33-year-old Anderson, as Lehner is younger (23) with a annual cap hit ($2.225 million) cheaper than Anderson’s $3.187 million. Methot’s UFA status could make him a rental player, meaning the Sens might not get a decent player in return. Packaging him with one of their goaltenders or perhaps Greening, Condra or Smith might fetch a better return.

With the NHL trade freeze set for midnight on December 19, Murray and his staff still have time to gauge the trade market. With five games to play before then, they could use that time to evaluate their roster under their new coach before making any deals.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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