Sens will groin and bear it

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson won't be rushed back into action. The Senators captain will be given all the time he needs to recover from a groin injury that forced him to leave the 3-1 loss to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Alfredsson didn't skate during yesterday's workout at the Bell Sensplex, and to add insult to injury, winger Peter Schaefer left a couple of minutes into practice with a tight groin.

"It's still a little sore and that's why I wasn't on the ice," Alfredsson said yesterday. "It's not bad or anything serious. It started hurting a couple of days ago and we just want to be cautious as well.

"The good thing is we have time right now. To be honest, I'd rather be on the ice with the team, but this is the right thing to do. We're going to take our time and we're not going to rush it to get back in the lineup right now."

Neither player will be in the lineup tonight against Buffalo at Scotiabank Place and it's doubtful they'll play tomorrow in Philly against the Flyers, either.

"We're going to give them as much time as they need," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

Let's face it, this is only the pre-season and it's important for the Senators to have both in the lineup against the Maple Leafs when the season opens Oct. 4 at the Air Canada Centre.

"If you are not 100%, you don't want to be out there," said Alfredsson. "If you start pushing it when it tightens up, then there's a chance you could pull it. We didn't want that to happen again."

A DIFFERENT LOOK: With Alfredsson and Schaefer out of the lineup, Murray is going to move some players around this weekend to get a look at everybody. The big winner could be W Antoine Vermette, who is going to get a shot to play along the left side of C Jason Spezza and RW Dany Heatley. "It's going to be good to get a chance to play there. You get an opportunity to play with offensive players and you want to play a big role," said Vermette. "But I thought playing with (Mike) Fisher and (Chris) Neil, that we played pretty well. I enjoy playing with those guys as well. You just have to work hard no matter where you play." Murray said he is just trying to get a look at everybody before the club makes cuts Tuesday. "We're trying to see where everybody fits," said Murray. W Patrick Eaves, who has been on the left side of Heatley and Spezza, will play with Denis Hamel and Alexei Kaigorodov.

GOING NOWHERE: Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean, a big fan and regular reader of the Sun, called your humble hockey writer yesterday to take issue with a report about restricted free-agent W Nikolai Zherdev. While MacLean maintains another team held contract discussions with Zherdev's Ottawa-based agent Rolly Hedges -- despite Hedges' denials -- MacLean wanted to send a message. "I hold his free-agent rights for the next five years. The Zherdev camp seems to believe that he's going to get traded and I'm not going to trade him. That's not going to happen," said MacLean. The sides remain far apart in negotiations and that's why Zherdev has elected to play in Russia until he's able to get something done with the Jackets. "I had only one call from another NHL team and I told them to go ahead and call Hedges. They did and they called me back and told me they couldn't get a deal done. I'm not making this stuff up, but to be honest they weren't offering much in return any way and I don't think I would have done the deal." MacLean also said he has given Zherdev until Oct. 5 to sign with the club or he won't be welcomed back this season.


Videos

Photos