Hip flexor to keep Alfie out a week

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Leafs fans will have to find someone else to boo incessantly tomorrow night when the Senators pay a visit to the Air Canada Centre.

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, who sat out last night's game against the visiting Bruins because of a recurring hip flexor injury, won't be good to play vs. the Leafs, either.

Alfredsson revealed yesterday that he won't face the Leafs and is unlikely to skate again until Monday at the earliest.

"I can skate, but I'm having a tough time twisting and turning. I'm probably about 80% right now," said Alfredsson. "What we're going to do right now is just try some rest. The biggest thing you don't want to happen is to have it (flare up). I want to get it back to 100%.

"It's just not where I want it to be. We're in a situation where I don't want to be out there and reinjure it. It's not anything that's long term. It's day-to-day and I'm not going to be hampered by this all year. You just don't want to get into a situation where you jeopardize it and you're out a long period of time with what's a minor injury."

Senators coach John Paddock would obviously like to have Alfredsson -- especially with Dany Heatley out with a separated shoulder -- but the club isn't going to take any chances.

"He could probably play if it was a playoff game, but he'd like to try to get rid of it rather than just have it hang there," said Paddock. "He's probably 80% ... so at 80% he'd still be our best player, but he needs to get it better."

Alfredsson, who missed two games with the injury he suffered Jan. 17 vs. Carolina, before returning to play against Florida and Tampa last week, said he felt fine after scoring seven points vs. the Lightning last Thursday.

"I felt good on the all-star weekend ... I really did," said Alfredsson. "I just reaggravated it (Tuesday). Now, it needs some time to rest."

GETTING READY: Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Sun yesterday that he has made another call to UFA C Peter Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley, to reaffirm Ottawa's interest. Forsberg squashed any speculation he was going to play in Sweden yesterday by announcing if he does come back it will be with an NHL team. "I just wanted to let (Baizley) know we're interested. He knows where we stand," said Murray, who can't afford to give Forsberg a long-term contract. There were reports out of Sweden that Forsberg was considering playing for MoDo, but his surgically repaired foot is feeling so good, he's getting close to making a decision on a return to the NHL. The Senators certainly aren't alone in their pursuit of Foppa. The Flyers are considered the frontrunner because GM Paul Holmgren has stated they'd love to have Forsberg back and might be willing to give him a three-year deal. The Ducks, Flames, Avalanche, Rangers, Sharks, Canucks and even the Thrashers have all made calls to see what the parameters are to sign Forsberg. "My goal has always been to make it back to the NHL, so MoDo will have to wait," Forsberg told the Swedish newspaper Expressen yesterday in Stockholm. Forsberg will only sign with a contender and will decide in the next week if he's going to play this season. "My next deadline is Feb. 26, but I hope to have made a decision before then," said Forsberg, who wouldn't comment on what teams have spoken to Baizley. "Everything is going fine with the foot, but I'm taking everything a step at a time and won't rush anything."

SHOTS FIRED: Asked how long he intends to go with the "win and you'll stay in" strategy with Gs Martin Gerber and Ray Emery, Paddock dead panned: "I hope until June 15." As for Gerber, he didn't miss a beat either when he was asked if everything that's happened with Emery in the last week puts more pressure on him. "Just (to) be on time," said Gerber.


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