Daniel Alfredsson

No Captain Alfie tomorrow night for Ottawa

Sportsnet is reporting that Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will miss tomorrow night’s game in Carolina with a hip flexor injury. It’s a tough loss for the Sens — the 38-year-old veteran has 3G-2A-5PTS in eight games this year and served as the elder statesman/mentor on a line with Nick Foligno (23 years old) and Mika Zibanejad (18) for most of this season.

In a corresponding move, Ottawa called up name-of-the-year candidate Kaspars Daugavins from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

Other game notes:

— Tomorrow marks the start of Carolina’s first homestand of the season. If the New York Rangers staked claim to the worst schedule to open the season (a seven-game road trip), Carolina could claim second-worst — the ‘Canes have played in Carolina, Washington, New Jersey, Carolina, Buffalo, Boston, St. Louis and Winnipeg to start the year.

— The Mika Zibanejad Games Played Watch (which I’m sure is breaking all sorts of Nielsen records) continues tomorrow as he’ll play his ninth game of the season. Game No. 9, of course, being the benchmark where Ottawa must decide to keep him in the NHL or return him to the Swedish Elite League. If he stays, he uses up a year of his entry-level deal. If he goes back, he returns next year in the first season of his contract.

— Of the 10 worst plus-minus players in the NHL, the Sens-Canes game features four: Eric Staal (-10, the worst in the NHL)  Stephane Da Costa (-8),  Erik Karlsson (-6) and Justin Faulk (-6).

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.