Alfredsson expects ‘a lot of emotion’ in first game vs. Sens

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Think of it like a dress rehearsal.

On Wednesday, Daniel Alfredsson will face his former club of 17 years, the Ottawa Senators, for the first time since his stunning offseason departure to Detroit.

We say dress rehearsal, because tonight’s game will be in the friendly confines of Joe Louis, rather than the potential powder keg that awaits in Ottawa. That’s not to say, though, that Alfie isn’t expecting an emotional night.

“Obviously I’ve got a lot of good friends on the other side. I think it will be a relief once the puck drops,” Alfredsson told the Canadian Press. “There will be a lot of emotion going into the game … But it’s a bit exciting too.”

Alfredsson’s had a very good start to his Red Wings tenure. He leads the team in assists, with eight, and sits third on the team in points (nine), trailing Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who share the lead with 11.

The 40-year-old Swede has proven to be a versatile asset for Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. Injuries and a glut of bodies at forward have forced Babcock to juggle his lines incessantly, and Alfredsson has proven to be a key cog in that shuffle by excelling in a number of situations.

Tonight, Alfie is expected to skate on the Wings’ second line alongside Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen. Babcock discussed the situation at hand and how grateful he is to have Alfredsson on his team.

“He was there a long time and I don’t care who you are, there’s lots of emotion in that when you face your old team,” Babcock said. “There’ll be emotion that he made a decision and we’re thankful for the decision.

“The great thing about it is we’re all entitled to make those – and he decided to come here.”



PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.