Colin Greening

Colin Greening

Report: Sens unlikely to buy out Greening, could be included in goalie trade

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The Ottawa Senators know they need to move Colin Greening — they just aren’t sure how to do it.

Greening, who fell out of the team’s plans shortly after signing a three-year, $7.95 million extension in 2013, is unlikely to be bought out of his remaining two years and $5.95M, according to Ottawa Sun sources.

Which means a trade could be the club’s lone way out.

In that light, the Sun also reports that GM Bryan Murray has received “mild interest” from a couple of teams about Greening, a big-bodied winger that was a nice producer for Ottawa during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scoring 19 points in 47 games during the regular season, then three goals and four points in 10 playoff games.

Since that run, though, Greening has been an afterthought in the Canadian capital. He made just 26 appearances last year and spent time with AHL Binghamton.

Per the Sun, the former Cornell standout could end up being packaged when Murray trades either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson. The Sens have reportedly fielded calls from five or six teams already on their goalies, but it’s possible the club will have to retain some of Greening’s salary in order to work him into a deal.

Sens waive Greening

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
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The Ottawa Senators placed forward Colin Greening on waivers Tuesday.

The move comes shortly after Sens GM Bryan Murray admitted he’d worked to find a potential trade partner for Greening but, having failed to find one, would likely end up waiving the 28-year-old. Greening has been in and out of the Ottawa lineup this season, scoring just one goal with a minus-3 rating in 20 games.

He’s been a healthy scratch since Jan. 8.

Greening’s in the last of a three-year, $7.95 million contract with a $2.65M cap hit. That’s a fairly hefty price tag for someone that can’t get a game in Ottawa, but Greening has shown flashes in the past; he had 17 goals in 82 games during the 2011-12 campaign, and three goals and four points during 10 games in the ’13 postseason, while averaging nearly 16 minutes per night.

If Greening doesn’t get picked up, though, things could get interesting upon his return to the Sens organization based on what agent Alain Roy told PHT last week.

“I don’t expect him to be in the American Hockey League,” Roy said. “At this point it’s not something we’re really talking about.

“I think he’s an NHL player and within the time frame Bryan wants, he’ll find a home in the NHL.”

Agent on Sens’ Greening: ‘I think he’s an NHL player’

Colin Greening

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray hasn’t been able to find a trade partner for Colin Greening and hinted a stint in the American Hockey League could be next for the forward.

“I tried to encourage them (other GMs) to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN Radio 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season. The 28-year-old hasn’t played since Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch in five straight games.

Murray told TSN Radio that he’s considering placing Greening on waivers following the All-Star break. If Greening clears, he could be headed for a stint with the Binghamton Senators. He hasn’t played in the AHL since playing 59 games with the Senators’ affiliate during the 2010-11 season.

“I don’t expect him to be in the American Hockey League,” Greening’s agent, Allain Roy, told PHT this week. “At this point it’s not something we’re really talking about. I think he’s an NHL player and within the time frame Bryan wants, he’ll find a home in the NHL.”

Roy, understandably, believes there is a suitor in the NHL for his client’s services, but with another year remaining on his three-year, $7.95 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $2.65 million, it might be a tough sell for a player, who has scored 10 or more goals once in his career.

“He’s a big winger that can skate and play physical. I would think that maybe some teams out there that need that and with this being the all star break, there’s going to be some teams looking to make a run in the second half,” said Roy. “We’ll wait and see what’s going to happen.”

As a result of the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar, Greening has been a healthy scratch in 22 of Ottawa’s 46 games this season.

“He’s a young guy, he’s got a lot of years left,” Roy said. “He’s an NHL player, he just needs to find another NHL home, if it’s not Ottawa.”

Sens looking to move Colin Greening

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
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Colin Greening is expected to be a healthy scratch for a fifth straight game tonight when the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Rangers.

Greening has not played since a 5-2 Ottawa loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 8 and has been a healthy scratch 21 times this season entering tonight’s game.

With Chris Neil returning after missing 16 games with a knee injury, Sens’ GM Bryan Murray doesn’t see Greening getting into the lineup anytime soon.

As a result, Murray is working the phones looking for a new home for Greening.

“I just basically told him that I had talked with a number of GMs. I tried to encourage them to give him an opportunity through a trade or whatever vehicle it may be. At this point, there’s nothing for him,” Murray told TSN 1200 in Ottawa on Monday. “I just told him eventually here, if we don’t get something done, he’s got to play hockey. You can’t play hockey as the 23rd, 24th guy on the roster here so I may have to put him on waivers here at some point in time.”

Greening has one goal and minus-3 rating to go along with 27 penalty minutes in 20 games this season.

The 28-year-old is in the second year of a three-year $7.95 million deal and will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Greening has not played in the American Hockey League since appearing in 59 games with the Binghamton Senators during the 2010-11 season.

“He happens to be the guy not in the lineup and is not going to be, it looks like, in the next few games at least,” said Murray. “He’s a young guy with a chance to play can contribute to a team in the National Hockey League. He’s a big guy, he skates pretty well. He just doesn’t fit right now with our group at this moment anyway. Two injuries from now, he could be the most important guy going.”

Murray cited the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has a goal and two assists in 14 games this season, and the emergence of rookie Curtis Lazar as reasons Greening has struggled to find playing time this season.

Murray has spoken to Greening’s agent about finding a trade for the forward, but if a deal can’t be found, Greening is expected to be placed on waivers following the all star break.

Under Pressure: Turris, MacArthur & Ryan

Bobby Ryan
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With the off-season departure of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, the Ottawa Senators top line heading into the 2014-15 season will feature Kyle Turris between Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan.

The team’s best line during the 2013-14 season, the trio now has the pressure of getting it done against other team’s top checking units and shutdown defensive pairings.

With Turris leading the way netting 26 goals last season, the trio scored nearly 32 percent of the Senators goals in 2013-14.

“I think we learned a lot from last year,” Turris told NHL.com this week. “I think the previous two years before that was kind of a step forward, and I think last year was a step back. We really got to evaluate everything and it was a great lesson because we learned a lot, we took a lot out of it.”

MacArthur, who scored a career-high 24 goals and 55 points in 79 games last season while riding shotgun with Turris, signed a new five-year, $23 million contract extension on Thursday and is looking forward to a second season playing alongside Turris.

“I think Turris would click with anyone, if they want to say I’m the guy who’s good with him I’ll take it,” MacArthur told the Sens website. “He does everything well. He’s a centreman with great speed, he’s got a great shot, he sees the ice.

“As far as making things easy out there, we obviously have to keep working at it, there’s things we want to improve for sure, but he’s got a good attitude and he’s a player willing to listen to other people’s ideas.”

MacArthur, who spent three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs before joining the Senators, knows about playing under pressure.

“I think when I was in Toronto I came off of a million dollar contract and ended up taking two years at $6.5 million and that was big money for me at the time and you feel a little bit of the pressure. Just because I got a five-year deal doesn’t mean I have to change a whole lot. I want to play the same game.

“As far as what I need to do on the ice, I want to do similar to last year — obviously we want a better result — but for myself I want to try and bring a similar game every night.”

Behind the MacArthur-Turris-Ryan combo is a line likely to feature Milan Michalek, Mika Zibanejad and newcomer Alex Chiasson. Zibanejad and Chiasson have a combined 42 career NHL goals.

The Michalek-Zibanejad-Chiasson trio along with Colin Greening, David Legwand, Mark Stone, Erik Condra, Zack Smith and Chris Neil will all have to pick up the slack as Ottawa looks to return to the playoffs for the third time in four years.

The Senators finished just five points back of Detroit for the eighth and final playoff spot last season with a 37-31-14 record.

The lack of goal-scoring prowess behind the first line also puts pressure on the Turris combo. Ottawa finished 11th in the NHL in goals for last season.

Ryan, 27, who scored 23 goals and 48 points in 70 games will be expected to have a bigger contribution. His first season in Ottawa was a career-worst for the forward, who averaged over 30 goals a season while with the Anaheim Ducks.

It helps that the New Jersey native is a pending unrestricted free agent and has the added motivation of playing for a contract.

MacArthur admitted he’d be having a conversation with Ryan about re-signing long term in Ottawa.

“He’s a player you want on your team,” said MacArthur. “If I can nudge him towards staying I’m definitely going to try to. He’s definitely a complement to our team.”

Murray doesn’t believe contract talks will begin until next month.

“We’ve talked to Bobby at length through his agents,” he told the Sens website. “I believe it will take until he comes to Ottawa for training camp to continue the discussions. He’s one of the next guys we’re definitely going to try to keep here.”

According to Turris, the team needs to get back to the mindset of two seasons ago, where the injury-plagued Senators surprised many by qualifying for the playoffs.

“We need to bring back that consistency and kind of getting back to our pesky ways that we were before,” Turris said. “There are lots of things that we’ve taken into account that we’re going to work on moving forward. We’ll make those corrections and be back to where we want to be this year.”

It’ll have to be a big season for Turris and Co. or else Ottawa will once again be sitting on the outside looking in when the playoffs begin.

Related: Looking to make the leap: Robin Lehner