Richardson's raring to go

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Luke Richardson gets to play for his home team tonight.

The Ottawa native and 20-year NHL veteran is expected to make his Senators debut against the New York Rangers as the team did some roster shuffling yesterday.

Centre Josh Hennessy, who averaged less than two minutes of ice time in the Senators' first two games, was assigned to Binghamton of the AHL yesterday.

Also making the trip down I-81 was forward Nikos Dimitrakos.

With Hennessy gone, Christoph Schubert, who played defence the first two games, practised as a forward on the fourth line yesterday, creating a spot on the blue line for Richardson, who practised with Joe Corvo.

Senators coach John Paddock hasn't used his fourth line much in the first two games, so it's possible Richardson could be part of a seven-man rotation at times on the blue line.

The 38-year-old, an unrestricted free agent last summer, signed on with the Senators after spending last year with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I've been pretty excited since I signed on here," said Richardson. "It's an exciting team to watch, so to be part of it on the ice will be great.

"I know I can add some things both on and off the ice and at times I'll get my opportunity. I told (Paddock) just to let me know when I'm going. I always keep myself physically ready as much as I can, so mentally I can prepare and be ready to go. I'm looking forward to it."

BLUE TIDE TURNING

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said he sensed a change in the crowd in Ottawa's home opener against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

"Every year it's getting less and less blue, I think," he said.

"I probably won't be around when it's only a few blue, but we're getting there."

HEAR AND THERE

Senators C Dean McAmmond is still suffering symptoms from his concussion after that big hit by Philly's Steve Downie. He said yesterday he tried to push himself on the stationary bike and felt uncomfortable. He doesn't know when he'll be able to return ... Alfredsson likes what he sees from fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers goaltender who looks ready to join the league's elite. "He's up there. He's still young and he's going to get better," said Alfredsson. "I don't think he's up there yet because he still has to show he can be consistent throughout the whole year. Last year, his second half was unbelievable. He's going to get up there and inch closer to (Roberto) Luongo and (Martin) Brodeur. I think Luongo is the new standard now. Brodeur is getting older." ... The Senators unveiled plans yesterday for Minor Hockey Week from Nov. 3-10, which will be highlighted by themes at four home games during that time. Kicking off the week will be the unveiling of the Hockey Country jersey wall where sweaters from the region's 145 high school, junior and minor-hockey league teams will be displayed. There will also be clinics and camps during the week and recognition for coaches and volunteers.


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