Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is back in Ottawa, and he spoke at length on the impasse between the club and Dany Heatley for the first time on Friday.
Alfredsson said that trading Heatley would be the best solution.
"It would be the best scenario for everybody, but if it was that easy then something would have already been done," he said.
Alfredsson's comments were more or less on the same page as those of general manager Bryan Murray, who said earlier in the week that if Heatley isn't dealt by the start of training camp on Sept. 12, it would probably then be best for the two sides to hammer out their differences and work together.
Heatley, 28, said late last month he hasn't felt integral to the team since Cory Clouston took over as coach in February.
The situation escalated when details of a trade that would have sent Heatley to Edmonton were made public. Heatley exercised his no-trade clause, believing that just one choice was no choice at all.
Murray is now believed to be talking to a couple teams, trying to resolve the situation.
Heatley scored 39 goals and 33 assists last season, the lowest of his four seasons with Ottawa. He signed a six-year contract in late 2007, a deal worth $45 million US.
Alfredsson said on Friday the Senators would be able to move on this season with Heatley as a teammate, although it wasn't exactly the most ringing endorsement.
"We've had players, and there have been teams before, where you have guys that you don't like on the team, but when it comes to stepping on the ice, everybody just has to work towards the same goal," he said. "I think we can achieve that. For Dany, once he's on the ice, in his situation he's going to do the best — no question."
Alfredsson added that Heatley would have to address his teammates if he stayed, to help put the contentious off-season in the past, and that Heatley's status as alternate captain would also have to be revisited.