In a perfect world, the Ottawa Senators would have settled things on the Marc Methot front long ago. But instead it has dragged out to within a month of the trade deadline, which was exactly what veteran general manager Bryan Murray wanted to avoid back in September.
But a change of agents -- Larry Kelly retired, so Methot stayed within the Octagon firm but now has Mike Liut handling his file -- has been part of the reason for the delay.
Liut and Sens management spoke last week to kick-start talks again on an extension. The clock is ticking, but there’s still time. Methot, a 6-foot-3, left-handed top blueliner, would be a prime-time trade target ahead of March 2 if the Senators don’t re-sign him soon.
"Mike came to town and we did have a talk," Murray told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "They’re obviously not [in] a big hurry, they’re in the drivers’ seat for the most part. At some point we’ll talk again here in the near future."
The Senators hope for an answer sometime in the next two weeks.
"We understand where everybody’s position is, it’s going to be up to us to get something concrete back to them in the next couple of weeks," Liut told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
The Senators haven’t reached out to other teams yet on Methot, they want to wait and see if they can sign him first. But if they can’t, they want time to flush out the market.
Center David Legwand, other sources suggest, is a player the Senators would be willing to move, although with another year on his deal after this season that carries a $3 million cap hit and a $3.5 million salary, it's unclear how many takers are out there.
Veterans Chris Phillips and Chris Neil both have another year on their respective deals, as well. Murray recently spoke with both veterans and neither player shared a desire to move. However, the Sens GM plans to have another discussion in the near future with each longtime Senator to determine a plan of action ahead of March 2. And they are getting a lot of interest in Neil, in particular.