Injured Varada: 'This is tough right now'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Injured again? Vaclav Varada couldn't hide his disappointment. Not when he wanted to show the Senators just what he could do.

The Senators winger limped into the dressing room, with a blank look on his face, trying to come to grips with the fact a torn MCL is going to keep him out of the lineup for up to six weeks.

While Varada was injury free playing in his hometown in the Czech Republic last season, he didn't even make it through his first NHL game in 17 months Sunday in Toronto.

"It was a pretty simple play: I just went to deliver a check on the defenceman and I kind of got my foot caught in some bad ice," Varada told reporters yesterday. "This is tough right now. This is a new year with a new coaching staff and I'm trying to find new linemates.

"It could have been worse, but I'm not happy about being out. I'm really disappointed. I was really excited about coming back and being in the NHL.

"I just hope that I am able to get through this pretty quickly."

But Varada's injury means there's going to be a chance for somebody else to join the lineup on opening night on Oct. 5 against the Maple Leafs.

The chances of Chris Kelly, Denis Hamel and Brandon Bochenski starting the season in Ottawa just got a whole lot better.

TIME TO STEP UP

Senators coach Bryan Murray, who may move centre Antoine Vermette to left wing to make up for the loss of Varada, suggested yesterday the players pushing for a spot should make their presence known in the exhibition games.

"My suggestion to them would be to do something," said Murray. "Do anything to show us that you can play in the exhibition games and that's going to give you a chance to make the team.

"We're just going to have to look at a few things over the next couple of days."

NO CUTS YET

The Senators held off on making cuts, but this morning some players will be re-assigned back to their junior teams or Binghamton.

Others will get to play in weekend back-to-back games vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday in Binghamton and Saturday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then they'll get shipped down.

"We need to get down to more workable numbers and we certainly want to inform some players of their situations before we go to Binghamton," said Murray. "I would think by the time we play Toronto (Sunday at the Corel Centre) we'll be pretty close to having our team with 25 or 26 players."


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