Saturday night's all right for Alfie

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 PM ET

The star of the show is looking forward to Daniel Alfredsson Day.

Senators captain Daniel Alfresson will be honoured before Saturday’s game vs. the Buffalo Sabres to mark his 1,000th NHL game, which came earlier this week in Florida.

Mayor Larry O’Brien has declared it Daniel Alfredsson Day in Ottawa.

“I sure am (excited),” said Alfredsson before Game No. 1,001 Thursday vs. Tampa Bay. “It’s going be great to share that with the fans and obviously family as well. It’s been great time and a privilege to be part of the league and part of Ottawa for so long.

“To get to share it with people who have been watching me throughout the years, and family and friends who have supported me, I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional night.”

Not only will Alfredsson’s spouse, Bibi, and three children (Hugo, Loui and Fenix), be on hand, but parents Hasse and Margareta are making the trip over from Sweden to witness the night with his sister, Cecilia. Brother Henric makes his home in Ottawa.

There will be a video presentation and several other video tributes throughout the game. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will be there for the pregame ceremony. The NHL will also make a presentation. A special 1,000th game puck bearing No. 11 will be used.

“It’s at home, which is great. The game itself was special (Tuesday), but this is one of those games where you get to share it with the team, the fans who have been following me and my family. That’s going to make it a little more special,” said Alfredsson.

All fans will receive a commemorative T-shirt. The game is sold out, but Hockey Night in Canada has confirmed it will carry the ceremony in its entirety.

Great honour: The hard work has paid off for defenceman Matt Carkner. Carkner, 29, was a unanimous choice to be the club’s candidate for the Masterton Trophy in voting done by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The trophy is presented to the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Carkner spent eight years bouncing around the minors before earning an NHL job. “It’s a pretty good honour to be recognized as a player who had to persevere though some adversity to get to his goal,” said Carkner. “To me, it’s just what I did. I don’t think it’s anything special.” He’s learned to appreciate everything he gets. “With some things (the guys) just don’t understand what it’s like in the minors. We take the (two-hour) bus trip to Montreal and everybody is complaining. To me, it’s like, ‘Home sweet home.’ Being there made me the player I am. I’m glad I got through it and made it here.”

BIG SCRAPPER: Tampa Bay C Zenon Konopka is having close to a record-setting season with 32 fights. According to trivia expert Liam McGuire and the sitedropyourgloves.com, that’s shy of the 39 punchups then-Florida D Paul Laus registered in 1996-97 with the Panthers. Lightning coach Rick Tocchet loves the Ottawa native’s character. “Obviously, he got here with his will and he’s brought a lot of leadership to the team. I’m not the kind of guy who likes to see a player tap a guy on the shoulder and say, ‘Let’s fight’ because those days are over. He does a nice job on deciding when to do it.”

THIS N’ THAT: Rookie defenceman Jared Cowen, 19, had parents Brian and Cara on hand for his NHL debut. They made the long trip from Saskatoon to Tampa. “It’s hard to get here from the west, but they’re excited,” said Cowen, who played a pre-season game against the Bolts in Saskatoon ... Former Senators president Roy Mlakar’s name is circulating as a candidate to be CEO of the Lightning. Those in the know in Tampa say Mlakar has the backing of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. New Bolts owner Jeff Vinik wants to hire someone to get the franchise back on track. Mlakar has plenty of experience on that front.


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