Varada back on ice for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- Vaclav Varada is ready to return.

Varada, who has made a quick recovery from a knee injury suffered in the pre-season opener Sept. 18 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been given clearance to play Friday night in Tampa Bay.

Centre Jason Spezza, troubled by a sore calf muscle, wasn't on the ice for practice at the Corel Centre, but he will play.

The Senators will find out about centre Mike Fisher's status today.

"If I had to play today I don't think I would be ready," said Fisher yesterday. "The (shoulder) strength isn't quite where it should be, but I'm going to keep working with it."

EAVES COULD GET CALL

If Fisher isn't able to play, the Senators will summon winger Patrick Eaves from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton. As for Varada, he will get a chance to play on the second unit of the power play, with Martin Havlat suspended for five games.

"You have to have a guy who is willing to go to the front of the net and create traffic," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "It's not an easy job. Maybe if the guys don't like (Varada) they'll shoot pucks at him and some might even bounce into the net for goals."

TAKING IT EASY: The Senators are going to relax in the sunny south for the next couple of days. Murray decided it was a good idea for the players to get a few days together on the road -- included in the activities will be the annual golf day this afternoon. "Mostly, I am doing this for the media," said Murray with a laugh. "What you want to have is guys spending time together. Whether it's on the golf course or on the half-hour drive to the rink before and after practice, it doesn't matter because they are together." Murray said the coaching staff will spend the next couple of days holding 1-on-1 sessions with players.


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