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It's a Small World

Smallworld So, lets get something straight: John Muckler has been fired as GM of the Ottawa Senators, with coach Bryan Murray being promoted to fill the position.

That means the former coach and GM of the Panthers is now GM of the Ottawa Senators.

And Jacques Martin, former coach of the Senators, currently serves as coach and GM of the Panthers.

Yes, it's a small world after all. In the NHL, anyway.

-- Here's a juicy nugget courtesy of our pal Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun. According to Bruce, one reason Muckler got fired was because Martin didn't send Gary Roberts to the Senators at the trade deadline.

Writes Bruce: Sources say a key factor in Muckler's demise was the inability to get winger Gary Roberts from Florida at the trade deadline in March -- defying specific instructions from Melnyk to do so.

In the end, the Senators refused to give up the No. 1 pick in what's considered a "weak" 2007 draft and instead picked up Oleg Saprykin from the Phoenix Coyotes for a second-round pick in 2008.

An NHL source said yesterday Melnyk summoned Muckler to a meeting in New York a few days after the trade deadline. Muckler was asked to explain why the club didn't get Roberts and "was put on notice then."

Here's the link: OTTAWA SUN HERE

Muckler, one might remember, is the guy who fired Martin after the 2004 season.

Martin has vehemently denied thoughts that he wouldn't trade with the Senators and Muckler. There had been rumors that the Sens made a nice offer to Mike Keenan and the Panthers for Roberto Luongo that wasn't accepted (although that probably had more to do with Todd Bertuzzi coming to SoFla than it had anything to do with the Sens.)

When Martin sent Roberts to Pittsburgh instead of accepting Ottawa's offer, Keenan (who had been getting grilled on TSN for the Luongo deal) suggested there was no way Martin would swing a deal with the Sens because he didn't want to help them out in any way.

Here's what I wrote on Feb. 27:

Martin denied a suggestion from former Panthers general manager Mike Keenan on Canada’s TSN that Martin wouldn’t deal with Ottawa in a potential trade for Gary Roberts because of his past with that organization.

“That’s not true at all,’’ said Martin, fired as coach by Ottawa after the 2004 season. He replaced the fired Keenan as Florida’s GM prior to the start of this season.

“You have to keep in mind that you have to do what’s best for the organization. I’ve always had a good relationship with Ottawa, so has [assistant GM] Randy Sexton. What we wanted out of Ottawa didn’t materialize. There’s no grudge there. We had a lot of conversations with them.’’

Roberts had asked to be traded to Ottawa, Toronto or Buffalo, but eventually lifted his no-trade clause to go to Pittsburgh. Martin said Ottawa and Toronto were offered to match Pittsburgh’s deal. Both declined.

-- With BM now the GM of the Senators, Ottawa is now looking for a new coach. Who wants to bet Terry Murray has already been contacted?

-- Speaking of Bertuzzi, Detroit's Chris Chelios told a radio station in Michigan that he expects Todd Bertuzzi to resign with the Red Wings, and the only hold up -- as surprising as this sounds -- is money.

The Red Wings don't want to pay Big Bert (no pics today, sorry) anything near the $5.3 million he made last year. If Bertuzzi does resign with the Wings, Florida gets Detroit's second round pick in next year's draft.

OK, here: Bert3