If the NHL season had started on time, the Senators would have been without top defenceman Wade Redden until early next month.
While the rest of the players are locked out of the Corel Centre, Redden and Zdeno Chara (thumb) are allowed in the building because both are recovering from injuries suffered in the World Cup. They're also both receiving their $4.7 million and $4.6 million (all terms US) contracts.
After suffering a separated left shoulder Sept. 2 vs. Slovakia, Redden confirmed to the Sun yesterday he's still not healthy.
"The strength is just not there yet," said Redden. "I am kind of surprised. When it first happened I kind of thought that it would be something that would just need a little rest and I'd be ready to go right away.
"I kept thinking it was going to get better so I could play in the tournament and in some ways I guess I kept hoping it would. I was just trying to stay optimistic that I would play. The doctors kind of told me (it could be a long-term) injury, but I guess I didn't think it was going to be this long."
Even now Redden isn't sure when he might be fully recovered from what turned out to be a severe separation. He has been receiving physiotherapy, has been skating daily and is able to shoot the puck, but the strength isn't there.
Redden believes he'll be fully recovered "in the near future" but hasn't put a timetable on it. Right now, he's the only player in the Ottawa dressing room because Chara left yesterday for Europe.
After spending time with family in Calgary, Redden will remain in Ottawa until he's cleared to play again. Along with Todd White, he will attend the union's meeting for NHLPA team representatives with centre Todd White next week in Toronto.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson, a VP on the union's executive committee, last week asked Redden to attend because team representatives Radek Bonk and Patrick Lalime have both been dealt.
"I'm hoping what we'll be able to hear is some good news," said Redden. "It's frustrating for everybody right now that we're not playing."
SWEDE DEAL: Senators D Chris Phillips could sign as early as today with Brynas Gavle in the Swedish Elite League. Phillips' agent Stacey McAlpine told the Sun the two sides are trying to get a contract worked out. Phillips would join former Senators winger Andreas Dackell on the team.