McGrattan ready to get physical

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Preparing to make his season debut with the Phoenix Coyotes tonight against the Senators at Scotiabank Place, Brian McGrattan fired a few jabs.

"We'll definitely be the tougher team if I'm in the lineup," said McGrattan. "So I'll just go out and work hard and show the coaches why I'm here and why I deserve to be here. I don't hold any grudges. Maybe for the fans and stuff who didn't get to see me play for three years, maybe I'll show them I can play."

Of course, McGrattan was asked if he's prepared to fight Chris Neil.

"I'm not really worried one bit (about fighting Neil). I probably already have the advantage so there's no need to worry," said McGrattan.

McGrattan said he understood he wasn't going to play every night with the Coyotes.

"I've been working pretty hard since training camp. (Not playing every game) comes with the role," said McGrattan. "I just come to the rink with the right attitude. You just have to work hard and be ready for when it comes to your time to play."

WAITING GAME

Daniel Alfredsson was the last one off the ice yesterday at Scotiabank Place and that's good news for the Senators. While no decision will be made until this morning and the Senators captain admitted that a back-to-back situation "is probably not ideal," nobody would be surprised to see him in the lineup tonight. Only a week after having surgery to repair a floating bone chip in his right knee, Alfredsson was on the ice for all of the club's 60-minute workout, stayed out for extra work and wouldn't rule out the possibility of playing either tonight against Phoenix or tomorrow vs. the Boston Bruins. "It's better. Obviously I was able to stay in a full practice, do some extra work after and it feels pretty good," said Alfredsson. "We'll see (about playing). I'm not going to commit to anything. I'll have to see how it is (today) and go from there. I'm just trying to do as much as I can as quick as I can. The doctor told me to take it really easy the first two days and then progress from there. I did that. Getting good treatment every day helps." For the most part, Alfredsson skated on a line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, but Nick Foligno was also taking turns in that spot. It's going to be up to Alfredsson whether he plays or not, but he plans to speak with coach Craig Hartsburg and the medical staff before making a decision. The club went 3-8-1 last season without him in the lineup and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Detroit Red Wings last Saturday. "If your team is firing on all cylinders and doing the little things right, you should be able to get by for a short period of time without a top player," said Hartsburg.

"He's a tough kid. I would expect you'll see him play," said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky.

OFF THE GLASS

Gretzky said he'd never follow in the footsteps of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who recently announced he's going to stop signing autographs. "My dad (Walter) would kill me," said Gretzky with a smile. "(Signing autographs) is part of your life. I've always said it beats working for a living." ... Former Senators GM John Muckler was in the rink for the first time since being let go following a trip to the Stanley Cup final 2005. "I'm proud of my record here," said Muckler.


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