Alfredsson's not going anywhere

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:05 PM ET

Daniel Alfredsson won’t be looking for a change of address to win a Stanley Cup.

The Senators captain has played his entire NHL career in an Ottawa uniform and doesn’t think he’ll ever ask for a trade to get a shot at a title before he retires.

While the 36-year-old wouldn’t rule it out, he did sign a four-year extension that should see him finish his career with the Senators.

“Probably not,” Alfredsson said when asked by about the possibility of playing elsewhere by a Toronto reporter.

“Because I think, us as an organization, are doing really good and I think we’re on our way up again. It’s so close now and if you make the playoffs, you have a chance.

“There might be a few teams before the start of the season where you can say this team has a better chance than the others. (But) look at Pittsburgh last year, people were wondering by Christmas if they would even make the playoffs. They fire the coach and end up winning the Cup.

“I can’t see (asking for a move). Never say never. It could happen in the future, but I don’t think it’s probable.”

Alfredsson, the longest-serving captain in the NHL, said he takes great pride in the fact he’s been able to stay with the Senators.

“I can’t really appreciate it because I’m still living it,” said Alfredsson. “When you retire you really reflect on everything that was. There are a lot of circumstances that come into play: When I started I came into a situation that was favourable for me with (Alexei) Yashin holding out.

“I came here (in 1995) and got a great opportunity from the beginning and got off to a great start. There’s been ups and downs through my career. There’s been situations where I thought it would be best for me to move on and the team probably felt the same thing.

“We’ve been able to work it through. I’m fortunate that I was able to be draft by Ottawa _ because you have no control over that. I’ve been able to come to a Canadian city that loves hockey and I’ve had success. That’s probably what I’ll look back n the most: Being part of the hockey culture in this country.”

CHANGES COMING: Senators coach Cory Clouston said he’s toying with making a change tonight against the Leafs. Judging by practice it would appear C Peter Regin could be a healthy scratch in favour of C Jesse Winchester. “Sometimes you have to sit back, regroup and sit and watch the game from a different perspective,” said Clouston.

“(Regin’s) not as assertive as we would like. I don’t know if the injury (he suffered earlier) has played a part of it, but either way he has to be more of a factor in the physical department. That’s not banging and crashing. That’s just being more assertive and stronger on the puck.”

It would appear Nick Foligno will skate on a line with C Mike Fisher and RW Alexei Kovalev.

Jonathan Cheechoo was there Saturday, but was on the third line with Winchester and RW Chris Neil. Clouston said Kovalev has played a large role in the success Fisher has had offensively with 7-7-14 points in 17 games this season. “Mike Fisher’s numbers have a lot to do with Kovalev,” said Clouston.

“(Kovalev) may not draw the official assist, but he draws a lot of attention. There’s a reason Mike Fisher has as many points now as he probably did 30 games into last season. (Kovalev) would be a big part of that.”

HALF THE BATTLE: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson admits the Battle of Ontario has lost some of its lustre. The complaint has been heard before because there’s no Pat Quinn, Darcy Tucker, Tie Domi or Gary Roberts that made names for themselves as villains here.

“No it’s not (the same). Until we play in the playoffs again, that really creates a rivalry,” said Alfredsson. “You can have battles in the regular season, but when you have those in the playoffs, it really builds up. That’s why we don’t have that emotional rivalry with Montreal: We haven’t faced them in the playoffs.

"That’s where you really create the rivalry by playing each other for two weeks and throwing everything you have at each other. Having the cities that close, the media helps. Small things become big things. That’s good. It brings the best out of everybody.”

That doesn’t mean there will be any shortage of Toronto fans in the building tonight. “We’ve just got to get the crowd out of it early and play hard,” said C Mike Fisher with a wide smile.

CLOSE TO RETURNING: D Anton Volchenkov could be ready to return Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. He will miss his eighth game tonight with a elbow injury he suffered last month in Florida, but might resume skating with the club tomorrow.

“We’re crossing our fingers and hoping he’s ready for the weekend,” said coach Cory Clouston. If that’s the case, D Brian Lee will likely be returned to the club’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

INJURIES: D Anton Volchenkov (elbow) out. D Mike Komisarek (quadriceps) out; D Jamie Heward (concussion) out; D Mike Van Ryn (knee) season.


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