Comrie has new friends

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Some of the Senators got a chance to break bread with former teammate Mike Comrie.

The Senators joined the New York Islanders winger for dinner Tuesday night because they apparently really do like him and not because there might have been a chance to see Comrie's squeeze, singer/clothes designer/teen idol Hilary Duff.

"I've got a lot of friends in the NHL now," joked Comrie, who made the Islanders his fifth NHL organization in seven years when he signed here as a free agent during the summer.

Comrie said he would have liked to have stayed in Ottawa, but the music for the free agent dance started July 1 and he was worried when it stopped he wouldn't have a seat.

"I didn't know how much money they had available and I didn't know what positions were available," said the 27-year-old. "I had to make a decision fairly quick because spots ended up closing."

ROLE MODELS: With Maniwaki native John Chabot joining Ted Nolan behind the Islanders bench this year, it marks the first time two First Nations coaches are behind the same bench. Chabot said it's a nice situation, but it will only matter if they have success. "You want to be successful because that's what carries weight," said Chabot yesterday. He has spent summers working with First Nations youth in the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec and hopes kids seeing him and Nolan behind the bench helps them understand they can control their lives. "I've mentioned to them you can choose to do whatever you want. Persistence and hard work give you a chance to do that." Chabot and Nolan are members of the First Nations Ojibway Tribe.

HEAR AND THERE: Senators centre Mike Fisher might have gone into last night's game without a goal in 10 games, but you couldn't fault his effort last night. He stormed back to break up a 2-on-1 with the Senators on the power play in the first period ...Comrie told New York reporters he didn't appreciate how good Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was until he played with him. "When I first got there I knew a lot about (Dany) Heatley and (Jason) Spezza. But you don't realize how good Alfredsson is every day, every practice, every game. He's a little more quiet than the other two guys, but he's a dominant player and a great leader."

REVELATIONS: One of the problems dogging the Senators has been surrendering odd-man rushes. They gave up a 4-on-2 on the first shift of the game, but Ray Emery made the save off Mike Sillinger ... Alfredsson tested his groin in the morning skate and reporters waited by his stall for the word on his status. "I'm here," he said. "I might as well play" ... Former supermodel Christie Brinkley has apparently become a big Islanders fan, going to games with her teenage son. No sign of her last night and you would think she would have been easy to spot in the half-empty Coliseum.

THE BUZZ: Islanders D Brendan Witt has been a big surfer since taking it up at the age of four. Since then, he's travelled the world to surf and had a run-in with a shark in Hawaii. "I think we just scared each other," he said ... During the second intermission a box of french fries raced a hot dog and a dragon. The hot dog just nailed the fries into the boards at one point. Guess that meant the fries had to play catchup.

LEMME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: Something you don't see very often: Ottawa D Anton "A-Train" Volchenkov get knocked on his butt twice in the same shift ... Isles D Radek Martinek thought he was going to get the better of Antoine Vermette, but he ended up being the one on the ice for repairs.


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