Carkner talks tough about Senators

Senators defenceman Matt Carkner. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)

Senators defenceman Matt Carkner. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:09 AM ET

OTTAWA - Matt Carkner is ready to welcome Zenon Konopka with open fists.

While the Senators defenceman has never dropped the gloves with his new teammate, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

“I’ve chased him around for 10 years,” said Carkner with a laugh Tuesday. “We played junior against each other: I was with the Petes and he was with the 67’s and we used to go at it. He gets under your skin. I was in the box a lot because of him because I was chasing him around and I’d get distracted by him.”

Carkner said the addition of Konopka to go along with Chris Neil and Zack Smith gives the Senators plenty of physical presence.

“That’s a real positive thing,” said Carkner. “Especially with the young guys coming in. To have toughness in every area, and hopefully we can have it on almost every line, it’s good to protect your players.”

Home sweet home

Zach Bogosian hasn’t signed with the Winnipeg Jets, but he’s looking forward to a new home.

Bogosian, a restricted free agent who expects to have a new contract in place before training camp opens next month, said it’ll be nice to play in a building that’s packed after spending many empty nights with the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.

“I’ve never been there so I can’t comment on the city, but I’ve heard nothing but great things. I’m looking forward to going there,” said Bogosian, a Massena, N.Y., native who trains in Ottawa once a week.

Asked why it didn’t work in Atlanta, the blueliner added: “I don’t know. I think the fans that came were loyal, but there just weren’t quite enough people in the seats.”

Doing their part

After C Jason Spezza spent five years supporting the Direct Energy Sens Fore Kids Classic, raising more than $250,000, Carkner and Jesse Winchester were on hand for the event, hosted by the Greyhawk Golf and Country Club.

Carkner and Winchester were happy to do their part by helping to raise $43,975 that was divided among the Senators Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa, Capital City Condors and Cornwall Boy’s and Girl’s Club.

The three putt

An avid fisherman, Winchester has spent most of his summer in Cornwall with his girlfriend and has taken a few trips on the St. Lawrence River where he caught the big one. “I’d love to tell you it was something better, but it was a 20-pound catfish,” said Winchester ... There is no timetable for captain Daniel Alfredsson to take a twirl for the first time since back surgery. Alfredsson, who had the disc procedure on June 10, told reporters last Thursday he expected to go for a skate this week, but there is no firm date ... Nice to see Florida D Erik Gudbranson Tuesday. He made the Panthers last season, but was sent back to the Kingston Frontenacs because the two sides couldn’t come to a contract agreement. The Orleans resident is already signed ... RW Chris Neil was also on hand at the tournament, along with prospect Stephane DaCosta.

Beer me

“You guys got all your beer packed up? ... Just kidding.” Carkner, joking with the media about comments made by former Ottawa winger Alex Kovalev.


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