ottawa_senators_logoSo it sounds like Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray is finally going to take the bull by the horns.

Yesterday Murray said he’s about ready to impose a deadline for whether he trades disgruntled winger Dany Heatley or brings the sniper back into the fold despite a trade demand that’s nearly three months old.

If you’re a Sens fan, this is the best news you could hear. You have to be sick of hearing about this story from both sides and the longer this distraction goes on the more chance it has to affect the team from the outset. Imagine if Ottawa reports to camp with Heatley still in limbo and all Heatley’s would-be teammates have to answer questions about him. That wouldn’t bode well for getting off to a fast start.

One has to wonder if Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli might take a similar tact with unsigned restricted free agent Phil Kessel in the near future. We already know that Kessel said at the USA Hockey Olympic he thought he’d have a deal done, one way or another, by the start of the season. Chiarelli hasn’t made any such proclamations and has kept to his policy of not commenting on ongoing negotiations. But, at some point, it’ll be good for the entire organization and the city if the Bruins take a firm stance one way or the other and plow ahead with or without Kessel.

Elsewhere around the division:

•Buffalo has a logjam up front, with 16 forwards ready to compete for 12 spots.

•The Sabres are unsure if Toronto or the league is right about the vote on relocating a team to Southern Ontario. The Maple Leafs think it would take a unanimous vote while the NHL says it would just take a majority to approve the move.

The legendary Red Fisher says Andrei Markov should be the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens.