Varada can't sit still

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:15 PM ET

Vaclav Varada won't take no for an answer. While the Senators aren't expecting the rugged winger to return tonight against the Bruins, he wasn't in the mood to rule that possibility out following yesterday's 75-minute workout at the Bell Sensplex.

Though Varada will probably need more time to recover from a right knee sprain he suffered Sept. 18 in Toronto, he told the Sun that he will decide after today's morning skate if he's able to suit up tonight.

"I'm going to see how it feels after the skate. I took part in the drills (yesterday) and I'm feeling pretty good. I would love to play against Boston. I guess I will have to see how it feels," said Varada.

Since the Senators aren't counting on Varada tonight, they recalled winger Patrick Eaves from Binghamton to play vs. Boston. He made his NHL debut on Tuesday in Montreal.

Senators coach Bryan Murray had to scramble to put lines together during practice because there was a shortage of healthy bodies.

Winger Martin Havlat (back) was given the day off, but will play vs. Boston. Centre Mike Fisher (shoulder) won't play.

"I did some skating, but it is going to take some time. I'm kind of aiming to play Friday (in Tampa vs. the Lightning)," said Fisher.

A LITTLE LIGHTER: The Senators took a hit yesterday when they received their first paycheques since the new collective bargaining agreement was signed in July. Not only did they officially feel the effects of the 24% rollback the NHL Players' Association agreed to, they also had 12% of what they were owed held back for the controversial escrow account. The players won't get any of that money back if league revenues don't reach 54% of the amount being spent on salaries. Sources indicate there isn't much hope they will see any of it. "What can you do? We knew it was coming," said Senators D Chris Phillips. "I'd much rather be playing hockey than sitting and waiting for a deal right now like we did last year. Yes, you'd rather not give back the (12%) and put that in your pocket, but we're still well compensated and we play a game that we love." And, added Phillips with a smile: "This is my first paycheque in 18 months ... I'll take anything right now."

AROUND THE BOARDS: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has been given notice he is on a list of 65 players being considered for Sweden's Olympic team. While the roster doesn't have to be named until Dec. 22, Alfredsson is a lock for a spot and is looking forward to the chance to play for his country even after what happened in 2002 in Salt Lake City when the Swedes were vilified following a loss to Belarus in the quarter-finals. "You always want the chance to play for your country," said Alfredsson. "If you don't perform the way you're expected to perform, then you have to accept the criticism that goes with it. That's part of playing and you really want to have the chance to win an Olympic gold medal." ... The Senators will get another look at a Northeast Division opponent tonight with a visit by the Bruins. The club has already faced Toronto twice, along with Buffalo and Montreal once. "These are important games, even early in the season," said Ottawa D Wade Redden. "We're going to play those guys eight times this year and that's a lot of points in the standings."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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