Payback for Wolski? A definite maybe

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

OTTAWA - Zenon Konopka wouldn’t say the Senators are going to deliver a little payback to Wojtek Wolski next Wednesday when the New York Rangers are at Scotiabank Place.

That’s partially because Konopka doesn’t want to pay a fine.

And, of course, the Senators aren’t the Charlestown Chiefs and the NHL is no Federal League ... so there won’t be a bounty.

Thursday’s news that Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is still suffering the effects of a concussion after a vicious cheapshot from Wolski last Saturday rang through the dressing room.

It was hard for Konopka, who received a questionable five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit on Artem Anisimov, to swallow because Wolski wasn’t suspended by NHL VP Brendan Shanahan for his hit.

“If I was on the ice, there would have been retribution. I know Wolski is a good guy, but at the end of the day, we still have to police ourselves a bit,” said Konopka.

So, could something happen Wednesday?

“It’s different with Wolski,” said Konopka. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We’re playing New York next week and I can’t get myself in trouble by saying anything. I have been fined by the league before for comments.”

Fact is, Konopka was thrown out of the game because of his reputation for being a rugged player.

Wolski’s hit was worse and all he got was a lousy two-minute penalty. Konopka felt Shanahan should handed out a suspension.

“There is still has be a stance made. Reputation has to be part of it to a certain degree,” said Konopka. “But it’s somewhat similar to the (Sidney) Crosby hit by (David) Steckel (on New Year’s Day).

“At the end of the day, the reality is, Daniel Alfredsson is not in the lineup. Talk about reputation, talk about whatever you want to talk about, we don’t have our captain in the lineup and that’s killing us.

“Obviously, there was no retribution. There was no even-up call or whatever you wanted to call it. That’s a tough pill for us to swallow. We’re not happy in the dressing room. We’re not happy with the league and the Rangers or anyone else or Wolski. That’s the reality. You can sugarcoat it all you want and say the right things, but we’re not happy.”

Konopka threw a few jabs in Wolski’s direction by suggesting the former first-round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche is trying to hang onto his career and make an impression with Rangers coach John Tortorella.

“Let’s not forget, Wolski is not having the year that he wants to be having. He’s a bit in the doghouse in New York and Tortorella is an intense coach,” said Konopka. “When you get out of your (role) and you try to make something happen and you panic, there’s a lot of times when you see panic, that good things don’t happen and bad things happen. I think that’s part of it.

“He’s trying to find himself as a player. At one point, he was close to a world-class player and he’s obviously not where he wants to be. That’s one of the variables we have to put into the equation.”

The Senators head into back-to-back weekend games without Alfredsson.

“He means everything. He’s the captain,” said Konopka. “Jason Spezza is our best player, but as a team it builds from Alfie and his experience and it hurts not having him in our lineup for so many different reasons. Not just on ice, but in the dressing room and everything else.”


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