I hate this time of year. Claustraphobic heat and no hockey. The two worst things I can think of.
At least Kevin Lowe is keeping things somewhat interesting with another kamikaze offer sheet to Dustin Penner which no doubt will fail like his bid for the Sabres Thomas Vanek. Other than that, the free agency period has pretty much dried up. Maybe Peter Forsberg will sign somewhere but that's about it.
As for Ottawa, the only thing they have left to do is sign Chris Kelly and that shouldn't be too difficult. If Kelly gets in the range of $1.5 million (probable), that would leave the Sens with just under 5 million in cap space for next season. Bryan Murray will probably want to leave 2 million to play with in case of injuries or use at the trade deadline. That leaves about 3 million to use to sign one or two players before training camp starts.
Now Murray could go all out and blow it on Peter Forsberg, who has already been rumored to be contacted by the Senators. But do the Sens really need another centre? They already have Spezza, Fisher, Vermette, Kelly and Dean McAmmond down the middle. I would bet that Murray is looking at acquiring another tough defenseman. There's not that many unrestricted free agents left out there who fit that bill. Andy Sutton from Atlanta would be a nice fit on this team. Danny Markov would be another.
Instead of the free agent route, the Sens could opt to try another trade. Certainly Joe Corvo is a candidate to be moved as he makes too much money to be slotted on the third defense pairing. And of course, the Sens would love to move backup goalie Martin Gerber but most teams already have their goaltending tandems set. Murray will have to wait until a prominent goalie goes down with an injury to garner more interest in Gerber.
Until then we wait. For the snow and the ice and all things pleasant and nice.