No Grapes, Alfie doesn't want out

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson was not in the Coach's Corner Saturday night.

A couple of hours after Don Cherry told his Hockey Night in Canada audience that a trade out of Ottawa would be in the best interests of the Senators captain, Alfredsson firmly disagreed.

"All I can say is I want to be here," Alfredsson told the Sun moments after his contributions to a strong, 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place.

"Everybody has a right to their opinion, and he's a well known figure on TV, but I'm not going to take anything from what he says.

"I definitely don't want to be traded."

Cherry, who says he likes Alfredsson, believes the responsibilities of wearing the 'C' in the capital are weighing heavy on the 34-year-old Swede. Alfredsson, he says, has had to talk to players and the press for the past "eight or nine years," and now it's time for him to go to a team where he "can just play."

PROUD OF SENATORS

But Alfredsson is proud of his position in this organization and relishes his role as a leader.

Always one to provide an example ahead of words, he has been speaking up in the room while the Senators have struggled out of the gate.

"I believe the big thing is that everybody knows the situation we're in," he said, "and that everybody shows the guy sitting next to him that he's giving everything, that he's going to contribute and he's going to be positive. We still have a long way to go to be where we want to be.

"Those are the just the things you say before every game. It's easy to get down when things aren't going the way you want. But we've got to stay positive, keep pushing and not worry about things that we can't control."

Stuff like trade talk, rumoured firings and the opinions of influential TV personalities, he means.

THIS AND THAT: Antoine Vermette erred on Buffalo's lone goal Saturday, and he heard about it from his coach. After winning a draw in the final seconds of the first period, Vermette tried to swat the puck away before Chris Drury could get to it, but wound up putting it right to Maxim Afinogenov in the slot. The Sabres sniper quickly deposited it before the buzzer sounded. "We lined up properly, then skated away from our check," Murray, who spoke to Vermette during the intermission, said incriminating others as well. "That could have been a killer ..."

Vermette, who redeemed himself with his eighth goal of the season in the third, could at least joke about the Buffalo goal later. "I made a pretty good pass to Afinogenov," he said. "I didn't want to. I'm just glad we came back." ... Stepping out of the penalty box to receive a pass from Dany Heatley, defenceman Chris Phillips looked like he could be a shootout candidate the way he smoothly beat Ryan Miller for his second goal of the season -- and first on an actual goalie (you might remember the rink long bank shot into an empty net a night earlier in New Jersey). When was the last time Phillips scored on a breakaway? "I can't remember," he said with a chuckle. "I was really young, I know that." ... Anton Volchenkov appeared to be favouring his shoulder as he left the ice following a third-period shift. While he did finish the game, the Senators will be hoping he's fine when he shows up at the rink this morning. Through 20 games, the former first- rounder has been their steadiest defenceman ... The Senators enjoyed their scheduled day off yesterday while the Wild, after flying in from Minnesota, held a practice at Scotiabank Place ... The leg injury suffered by 6-foot-7, 250-lb. Wild giant Derek Boogaard in a fight with Georges Laraque last week comes at a bad time for Senators fans. It deprives them of any chance they might have had to see a Boogaard-Brian McGrattan scrap.


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