Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Muckler feels the heat

John Muckler probably isn't leaving the house today, the Sens GM has been under the gun in the last couple of weeks as some popular Sens horses begin to trickle away from their Kanata stable.

The exodus started with Zdeno Chara who took one look at the zeroes offered up by Boston (with a significant non zero at the from) and chose to relocate to New England.

Financial concerns also lead to a trade yesterday in which Martin Havlat found himself Chicago bound as the Senators chose to let him go to the Wind rather than try to pay what he wanted.

Of course the return for the lost investments has not been universally accepted as fair value, the armchair GM brigade declaring that the Sens have been hosed and they are a much lesser team than that which finished off the playoffs, short once again of that ultimate goal the Stanley Cup.

While Muckler takes the heat, he has some defenders who have offered up that he's indeed done the best he could under a changing landscape that should have more than a few Sens fans concerned about ever reaching that Holy Grail.

Al Strachan gave Muckler a nod for telling it like it is with a column that explains the dilemma that GM's and fans may soon find themselves in on a regular basis.

Bruce Garrioch examined the make up of the 2006-07 Sens and how it's going to be a markedly different looking squad that breaks training camp.

Wayne Stevenson took a look at the holes and suggested that the Sens need a bit of help in their front end, if they have serious dreams about a shot at Stanley next season.

All this attention and its only July! Imagine the glare once the Sens take to the ice on October 4th when they kick off the season on the road against arch rival Toronto.

Muckler has had to have a thick skin through his days in Edmonton and New York, it might come in handy over the short term as the Sens adjust to the new fiscal landscape of the NHL.

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