Daniel Alfredsson

Sens GM Murray on Alfredsson return: “The impression I got was a good one”


Bryan Murray spoke with Daniel Alfredsson last week about the decision currently facing the 39-year-old — retire, or return to Ottawa for one more season.

Based on their conversation, the Sens GM is cautiously optimistic about the latter.

“There is still no final decision on anything, but we had a very good conversation,” Murray told the Ottawa Citizen. “We did talk about the team, what has happened around the team. There was interest on his part in what was going on.”

Murray said he didn’t ask about retirement directly, though.

“I’m not going to ask that question,” he explained. “But the impression I got was a good one.”

The Senators have been active through the two weeks of free agency. They lost Matt Carkner (Islanders), Zenon Konopka (Wild) and Filip Kuba (Panthers), but added Guillaume Latendresse and Mike Lundin from Minnesota. Murray also pulled the trigger on a deal that saw Nick Foligno go to Columbus in exchange for Marc Methot.

The Sens also retained the services Alfredsson’s longtime teammate, Chris Neil. The two have been in Ottawa together since 2001.

That sense of familiarity might be key in getting Alfie back to the Canadian capital. While the Sens have undergone some changes, most of Alfredsson’s longtime running mates — Neil, Chris Phillips, Jason Spezza — are still around, and the team will look very similar to the one that finished a surprising eighth in the Eastern Conference last year.

There’s also a sense that, with over $20 million in available cap space and a whack of prospects in the system, Ottawa’s in prime position to make a deal to obtain some high-priced talent — something that could play a role in luring Alfredsson back for one more year.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?