Meet McAmmond's alter ego

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

The Senators, it's been learned, are getting away with some rule-breaking every time Dean McAmmond takes a shift.

Inevitably, Dean brings Hank with him, and that gives Ottawa too many men on the ice.

Lemme explain.

Hank is the name on the plate above McAmmond's stall in the home dressing room at Scotiabank Place.

It is a moniker bestowed upon the veteran by Marc Savard, when the two played for the Calgary Flames.

No Senator knew of the nickname until the arrival of Shean Donovan, who also played on that Flames team.

"It's from the movie Me, Myself and Irene," McAmmond revealed yesterday. "Jim Carrey has a split personality, and his other personality is Hank.

"Marc called me Hank once after I lost my temper, and it kind of stuck."

While the flick was released in 2000, Hank was born without any ID when McAmmond played junior hockey for the Swift Current Broncos in 1993.

During a practice on an off-day in the WHL finals, the Broncos coach became fed up with players bickering at each other and said the next to say a word would be sent off. McAmmond said a word.

"Get off the ice," he was told.

"No," he shot back.

"GET OFF!," he was told again.

He then fired his stick high into the stands.

"The old tomahawk throw," McAmmond recalled, shaking his head and smiling.

For the most part, we don't see a whole lot of Hank in these parts.

"I've got him under control," said McAmmond.

Medication?

"Apple juice."

Wait a second. The uncharacteristic fight with Colby Armstrong in the opening round of the playoffs last spring?

"(Armstrong) hit Dean about six times," remembered McAmmond. "Finally Hank said enough's enough."

What about your wife, who does she like better?

"Oh she likes Dean better."

Who's the better hockey player?

"Hank," said McAmmond.

And which are the Hurricanes going to see?

"I just don't know," he admitted.

Turns out it was Dean, as the Hurricanes only lost a chance to get back in the Eastern Conference's Top 8.

Coulda been a lot more had Hank showed up.

STARTS AND STOPS: When Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette were each injured around the same time last season, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson shouldered a heavy share of the load. If a hip injury to Alfredsson keeps the captain out for any length of time, he and Heatley are going to be watching anxiously in hopes someone returns the favour. Vermette gave early indication of being one of those guys last night. Along with his even-strength goals, Vermette had a couple of great chances short-handed on 2-on-1 breaks with Chris Kelly. Once he was interrupted by a backchecking Sergei Samsonov. The other time he was stopped by Cam Ward. "I think Vermie is a real good player for us," Paddock said before the game. "I think he can play better. He probably needs to start produce a little more to get to what he's produced the last couple of years. ... Randy Robitaille missed the morning skate to be with wife Joanne as she gave birth to their third child. At 13:32 of the second period, Spezza delivered a baby gift to dad -- it was the puck, with an empty net close by, for Robitaille to easily net his seventh of the season.

BETWEEN PERIODS: For the fifth consecutive game, John Paddock changed his starting 'tender, going with Martin Gerber. After the morning skate, Paddock was asked if he was looking for one of his goalies to get hot. "I'm looking for them both to stop the puck every night," he said. "It doesn't have to be one. It's supposed to be both. Earlier in the season I didn't think that would be a problem, our goaltending. It probably hasn't been as strong as we'd like in the last month." Better get a whole lot better before the playoffs, too.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: This game attracted a higher-than-usual number of scouts, including two from the Columbus Blue Jackets who were apparently also in attendance when the Senators visited Washington. Given that the Senators don't see the BJ's for more than a month, could very well be they were there eyeing up talent the Jackets might try to make their own in a trade. Columbus' Sergei Fedorov would not only answer the Senators' need for a top-six forward (with Stanley Cup experience to boot) but he also played for Bryan Murray in Detroit and was brought to Anaheim when Murray was the Ducks GM ... It took the investigative research (okay, reading the media guide) of TSN's Brent Wallace to notice that the Senators have a "People Department." Probably doesn't take up much space. Looks

like they only have two people in it ... Hurricanes D Bret Hedican exploded on referee Ian Walsh after going back to the box and giving Ottawa its second straight 5-on-3. After Vermette took advantage, Walsh skated directly to

the bin to have a few words with Hedican. Just wish he would have accidentally left his mike on for that conversation.


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