Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot is making some progress in his recovery from the back and hip ailments which have sidelined him since training camp. The Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan reports Methot has resumed skating with his teammates, but he's taking things day-by-day and there's still no timetable for his return to action.
Methot is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His average cap hit is $3 million, while in real salary this season he's earning $3.75 million. TSN's Darren Dreger reports there's no sign of progress in contract talks between Methot's agent and Senators management, fuelling trade speculation. He claims the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are among the interested clubs.
Methot's slow recovery is likely the reason why the Senators haven't resumed contract talks. It will also hamper any trade talks. The Ducks and Red Wings have reportedly sought a blueliner with a right-handed shot for some time, but Methot shoots left so there's no fit there. The low-scoring Panthers require an offensive boost more than they need another blueliner, while the Oilers more pressing need right now is depth at center and better goaltending.
Meanwhile, it appears left wing Colin Greening's days with the Senators could be numbered. He's been a frequent healthy scratch, appearing in only four games this season. He's currently in the first season of a three-year contract at an annual cap hit of $2.65 million.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman believes it's time Greening had a fresh start elsewhere. He claims the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues had interest in the winger before he signed his current contract last fall. Friedman speculates that could make him harder to move.
There's some disagreement over the Senators' asking price for Greening. TSN's Darren Dreger reports the Senators only seek a fourth- or fifth-round pick in return, while the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch claims they want a player in return.
At this point, Greening's salary might be a tad expensive for some teams but that could change as the season progresses. The fact he's under contract for two more seasons might be a selling point. His modified no-trade clause, however, could complicate efforts to move him.
If Senators management hope to bolster their chances for a better return they could consider packaging Methot and Greening. Multi-player trades, however, are rarities in today's salary-cap world. In any case, there won't be much of a market for Methot until he's fully recovered and has a few games under his belt.
Friedman also reports Senators assistant GM Pierre Dorion was spotted at the recent St. Louis Blues-New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers-Buffalo Sabres games. He notes it's no secret the Senators and Sabres have spoken several times in the past.
The Senators, however, play the Blues twice this month and faced off against the Oilers soon after that Sabres game. That would account for Dorion's presence at those games.