As the NHL prepares to take a break for the July 4 holiday weekend, the Senators are still hard at working putting together their roster for next year.

While the Senators got another piece in place Thursday by signing defenceman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract, GM Bryan Murray along with assistants Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee aren't done making changes.

After sending captain Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars for winger Alex Chiasson and re-signing Milan Michalek to a three-year deal, the Senators are studying all their options for help up front.

The Senators also signed forward David Dziuryznski, who spent all of last year in Binghamton, to a two-year, two-way contract Thursday. It locks up another player who has an important role in Binghamton.

With Johnson -- who had plenty of options before accepting a deal with a $250,000 salary guarantee from the Senators -- the club can step up its efforts to try to get another top six forward in the mix.

Not only will Johnson be a strong leader in Binghamton, the Senators can rely on him to play NHL games. He has played 291 with six teams in the past and it will be a seamless transition.

That means with eight defencemen on one-way contracts, don't be surprised if the Senators try to move one of their blueliners (possibly little-used Patrick Wiercioch) in the coming days.

Right now, the Senators are trying to find help up front after freeing up approximately $3 million in cash by moving Spezza to the Stars. More than one team noted Ottawa is working the phones.

Wiercioch is scheduled to make $2 million next season and coach Paul MacLean barely put him in the lineup last year. There is no reason to believe that will change."‹