From a story posted today on the Meszaros deal, and attributed to "Sun Media" (i.e. some random hack from the Ottawa newsroom):
While the Senators would have preferred to keep Meszaros, the club wasn't going to meet his demands for more than $4 million US per-season. He immediately signed a six-year, $24 million deal with the Bolts.OK, let me get out my calculator here. So we have $4 million for Mezaros, and we subtract $3 million for Kuba, and $800,000 for Picard...
This will be a big cap savings for the Senators. Kuba, 31, is scheduled to make $3 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season while Picard will make $800,000 the next two seasons.
Holy crap, that is a big cap savings! They saved enough for 40% of a minimum wage player! Bryan Murray is a freaking genius!
Side note: As has been the case throughout their entire modern history, the Senators make a major trade only because of a player's salary demands. Every trade of any significance the club has ever made (Redden/Berard, Yashin/Chara, Hossa/Heatley, etc) has been because somebody had the nerve to ask for more money than the team wanted to pay.
As long as you're willing to take below-market deals, you can be a Senator for life (hello, Chris Phillips!). And that's especially true at the trade deadline, when the Sens are always a contender and always, every single year, fail to land the type of impact player that everyone knows they need because they insist that "we like our room" and "we're not going to mortgage the future". The approach has probably cost the team a couple of Cups already, and lead to a frustrated Murray backstabbing John Muckler out of a job last summer before going on to pull the exact same choke job at this year's deadline.
So here's my proposal: Some Senator fan needs to convince Bryan Murray that Nick Foligno, Brian Lee, or whoever their scouts are looking at with their 2009 1st rounders, is asking for too much money. Just plant the seed, and hope it finally pays off next February.