Chara-table diagnosis

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers 6, Senators 3

The Senators insist Zdeno Chara won't be on the shelf for long.

Senators coach Bryan Murray told reporters yesterday he's still listing the 6-foot-9 blueliner as day-to-day and believes he could play as early as Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils.

"If he's not ready for Tuesday then maybe it will be Thursday (against the Rangers)," Murray said of Chara, who suffered a hand injury in a fight with Pittsburgh's Eric Cairns last Tuesday.

The Senators confirmed that Chara had a second MRI on Friday and said the test revealed "a deep bone bruise," but the good news is it's on the upper part of the hand.

"His hand is sore and I think the swelling has come down a little," said Murray. "It's going to be up to (Chara) to decide when he's able to come back. He's going to decide what kind of pain he's going to be able to tolerate. It's like anything, I'm not going to play him if he's hurt. It's going to be his decision."

Fellow defenceman Anton Volchenkov, meanwhile, missed his second straight game last night in Philadelphia with a head injury.

But there was good news on the injury front as centre Mike Fisher (ankle sprain) skated yesterday for the second straight day.

"It was just light skating, but the good news is he skated," said Murray.

This 'n' That:

Former Senators C Todd White has had a tough time with the Minnesota Wild this season. White broke his left leg when he was hit with a snapshot from teammate Kurtis Foster against Calgary, putting the Kanata native on the shelf for the rest of the season. "It went numb right away, so it kind of made think it was broke right away," said White. "I'm just frustrated that it happened. It's part of the game." White is going to need two months of rehab ... The Predators are happy they signed RW Paul Kariya to a two-year, $9-million (all terms US) contract in the off-season. He has 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points (a franchise record). "We have a couple of dangerous guys on this team and Paul is definitely one of them," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz. "He really leads by example. He enjoys the challenge of making a difference out there." ... Talk won't go away that new St. Louis owner Dave Checketts is going to bring former NHL goalie and current TV broadcaster John Davidson to take over as club president. That could mean the end of GM Larry Pleau.

Around the Boards:

There was little shock in Los Angeles when coach Andy Murray was fired last week after seven seasons. Many believed he was going to be the first coach let go this year. The decision to bring in John Torchetti raised eyebrows, but there's talk Kings GM Dave Taylor has been looking at this scenario for a month. The whispers are, however, if the club doesn't make the playoffs then Taylor will follow Murray out the door ... The Bruins signed P.J. Axelsson to a $5.55-million, three-year contract extension because they were concerned the Senators might make a pitch for him this summer. Axelsson and Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson played together during the lockout with Frolunda in the Sweden Elite League and also had chemistry on the same line for the Olympic gold-medal champion Swedes last month in Turin ... Vancouver assistant GM Steve Tambellini won't talk to the Isles about their vacant GM's job until the Canucks nail down a playoff spot. By that time, it could be filled by Dallas scout John Weisbrod or former San Jose GM Dean Lombardi, who also remains in the running.

Rumours Du Jour:

A name to keep an eye on this summer: Ed Jovanovski. If the Senators are unable to sign D Wade Redden and Chara, who will both become unrestricted free agents, there are whispers the Canucks defenceman might be a nice fit for the club ... Nobody is certain about the future of Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr., but coach Pat Quinn is on his last legs. Though Quinn was protected this year, the word is Ferguson Jr. might get the opportunity to put minor-league coach Paul Maurice behind the bench next season and see what kind of success he has ... The Isles are going to try to bring back D Kenny Jonsson next season, but he doesn't have much desire to return to the NHL. He wants his children to go to school in Sweden, where he is currently playing with Rogle BK ... While the Panthers are going to try and sign G Roberto Luongo to a long-term contract in the off-season, there's a strong belief he'll thumb his nose at it and go for a one-year deal in order to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007. There has been plenty of talk Luongo, a soon-to-be restricted free agent, wants the chance to play for the Montreal despite the fact he could get guaranteed money with Florida.

Have a nice Sunday.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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