A leading question?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Daniel Alfredsson isn't going anywhere. Neither is the 'C' on his chest.

"As long as I'm here, he's going to be the captain," said Senators coach Bryan Murray yesterday. "If the decision were to be made (that Alfredsson) won't be the captain anymore, it's not going to be made by me.

"I see what this guy does for the team. I know the role he plays and the respect he gets in the dressing room.

"He's our leader. The players respect him and Daniel Alfredsson cares about this team. He wants to have success and he does everything he can to have success."

With only one goal in 11 games, Alfredsson has come under a lot of fire this week. There have been questions about his ability as a leader.

Alfredsson was the subject of a Montreal radio station trade rumour which had him heading to the Los Angeles Kings -- a rumour that was dead wrong.

Sources say the Senators aren't looking at dealing Alfredsson, but have had discussions with the Kings about bringing centre Craig Conroy to Ottawa.

"Where do (the rumours) come from? They don't come from us," said Murray.

SURPRISED

Alfredsson admitted he was surprised when he first heard the story.

"I don't know how to react. There are rumours," said Alfredsson.

Ottawa would like to find some support for Alfredsson. Centre Dean McAmmond performed well in the first game he played alongside Alfredsson, but the two haven't done much since.

It's believed the Canucks have shown an interest in defencemen Anton Volchenkov and Christoph Schubert.

With tomorrow night's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes , the Senators will start a stretch of 15 games in 30 days.

"This is a struggle," said Alfredsson. "At times, you start thinking too much. Things will turn around. I still know how to play the game. You've just got to fight through it.

"(The criticism is) part of the job. Everybody has the right to think what they want to think. I can only do the best I can. I have to lead by example in practice and games. I believe most fans understand that as well."

Alfredsson has the backing of his teammates.

"I don't think there's one guy in the room who would listen to (the criticism)," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden. "We all know what he means to our team and what he does for us, even though he hasn't scored piles of goals. He's the key guy for us and the leader. Everyone looks up to him."


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