Hasek banished from bench area

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

Unless Dominik Hasek is in uniform, he won't be watching any more games from the Senators' bench area.

Coach Bryan Murray was surprised to learn yesterday the club's injured goalie watched the first two periods of Game 1 from just behind the Ottawa bench.

"I just heard about that. He won't be there again," said Murray. "The players shouldn't be there."

Murray said the NHL has rules about players who are not dressed standing on or near the bench.

A few years ago in the playoffs, Senators winger Rob Ray was ordered by the league not to stand in the runway near the bench.

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Between periods of Friday's 4-1 Ottawa win, CBC's Don Cherry said it was bad to have Hasek there because it was distracting to to starter Ray Emery and the rest of the team.

"The league wouldn't like it" said Murray. "You can only have certain people on the bench and the players who should be there are the ones who are dressed to play the game.

"If you're not dressed, you need to have a coaching card and I think we pay about $1,500 a year for one of those ... I don't think he can get one of those."

Hasek, 41, recovering from an adductor muscle injury he suffered Feb. 15 in Turin, wasn't on the ice at the Bell Sensplex, but was working out the gym at Scotiabank Place. There is no timetable for Hasek's return.

"We're having an optional skate (today) and I'm hoping he'll be on the ice then," said Murray.

WHAT, ME WORRY?: Lightning coach John Tortorella snapped at a reporter who asked him if the club's experiences from 2004 would help them after losing Game 1 against the Senators? "I'm sick and tired of talking about two years ago. I'm not going to talk about two years ago anymore," said Tortorella. "I'm concerned about this year and I think we've done some good things this year. I know you guys don't believe me, but I think we showed some resilience with this team. Look, the pressure is not on us." Even after losing Game 1 after having a solid effort, with two good periods, Tortorella said his club isn't facing any pressure. "I know you guys are going to get tired of this, but as I talked about the other night all the pressure is on them," said Tortorella. "They're the ones who are supposed to win. I don't have to talk about that anymore because they're spending all the time talking about it themselves.

NOT TALKING: There are a lot of whispers that Tampa C Brad Richards could get an offer sheet as a restricted free agent this summer, but he's not going to get involved in the discussion. "That wouldn't be fair to my team or teammates to speculate on that because we're involved in a playoff series and that's all I am focusing on right now. I'm not even going to think about it and that's something the business people will take care of," said Richards, who is making $3.4 million this season. Many believe the Lightning are going to have a hard time keeping Richards under the league's new salary cap. The cap is expected to rise to $42.5 million from its $39 million this summer. But that might not be enough for the Bolts, who signed Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis to rich long-term deals last summer and are going to have a tough time fitting Richards into the structure. He remains confident. "I spoke with (GM) Jay Feaster and he told me personally they were going to try to keep me," said Richards. The Bolts might have a tough time matching an offer sheet if a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs -- who have plenty of cap room --decided to take a chance in the summer and give up the three first- round draft picks as compensation. "I have no idea (what might happen) and that's the furthest thing from my mind," said Richards.

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@OTT.SUNPUB.COM


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