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Sens owner: Team still in rebuild mode

Jan 24, 2012, 5:39 PM EDT

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Eugene Melnyk Getty Images

Anybody who says they thought the Ottawa Senators would have a seven-point playoff cushion at this point in the season should be forced to prove it. Otherwise they should be deemed liars and shunned by society.

For Sens owner Eugene Melnyk – who, for the record, didn’t expect his team be nearly as competitive this season – a likely spot in the postseason presents an unexpected question:  Should general manager Bryan Murray add assets at the trade deadline?

“(Dealing) would come with one caveat. Let’s not lose focus of what our job is: That’s to rebuild,” Melnyk told the Ottawa Sun Monday. “The deal we made for Kyle Turris was more of an anomaly than anything else because we did give up a piece of our future and we weren’t going to be competitive without a second-line centre.”

Sounds to me like the Sens aren’t against adding pieces at the trade deadline, but not at the expense of the future.

In a related story, they’d like to have their cake and eat it too.

To be fair, there’s no shortage of cap space in Ottawa, so if Melnyk’s willing to open his wallet maybe they could acquire a player that’s being dumped for salary reasons in exchange for a high draft pick or something equally insignificant.

Chances are the Senators are still a ways away from contending for a Stanley Cup. The last thing they want to do is get ahead of themselves and think they’re already there. By the looks of it, they’ll be able to make a real push in the near future.

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