Alfredsson out at least a week; no suspension angers Murray

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray is crossing his fingers that Daniel Alfredsson can recover quickly from the concussion he has. Alfredsson initially had headaches and wasn’t feeling well, said Murray, but he was headache-free on Monday. Still, he will be out for at least a week.

BOSTON — Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray is crossing his fingers that Daniel Alfredsson can recover quickly from the concussion he has.
Alfredsson initially had headaches and wasn’t feeling well, said Murray, but he was headache-free on Monday. Still, he will be out for at least a week.
Given that, the loss of one of his better players, it’s not surprisingly that Murray was very unhappy to hear the NHL was not going to suspend or penalize Wolski.
Wolski was called for an illegal check to the head after he hit Alfredsson at 12:09 of the third period of Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers.
The NHL doesn’t publicly release its reasons for not suspending a player – a policy Murray agrees with, since the league shouldn’t be in the business of responding to every person who cries out for the suspension of one player or another – but Murray did get an explanation from Brendan Shanahan, the league’s vice-president of hockey operations.
Shanahan gave him the bad news.
“There were be no suspension, it was a hockey hit,” said Murray.
“Basically, what I was told was that (Wolski) reacted to contact and stiffened up but didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Just happened to hit Alfredsson in the head.”
Murray told Shanahan he didn’t – couldn’t – agree.
“Well, it’s my player, and I have an emotional attachment to it, so no,” he said.
“I told him I didn’t agree. I felt that the player did go out of his way, a little, to make contact, that it was an elbow involved in the play.
“I thought we had determined that a shoulder check . . . would be considered an accidental hit, but an elbow to the head I was under the impression there would be a suspension.
“I think we’ve spent time on the rule, on the application of the rule, and a discussion about it, and since our player was hurt in that particular incident, I can’t agree with the ruling.
“He’s an important player for us. He’s the captain of our team and one of our better players.
“We don’t have a lot of players at this moment that are NHL experience to the level that he’s at, and so we’ll miss that.”
Murray said he’d get a chance to raise the issue during the general managers’ meeting in mid-November.
Meanwhile, the team will be following the NHL concussion protocol during Alfredsson’s recovery.
He’ll now be out until it is determined that he is no longer suffering concussion-like symptoms.
This is the way it works according to the NHL’s concussion protocol:
When a player comes off the ice and is suspected of having a concussion, as Alfredsson was after being hit by Wolski, an initial examination is done at the bench.
If that raises concerns, the player is taken to the dressing room where a more extensive examination is done.
If that examination determines the player has a concussion, it triggers the concussion protocol, which is the point the team is at with Alfredsson.
What this means is that Alfredsson will be kept out of play until he is symptom-free, at rest and exertion.
He also has to undergo extensive neuropsychological testing. The team physician then looks at the data and determines when the player is ready to return.
Fortunately, one of the team’s physicians, Dr. Mark Aubry, is one of the world’s foremost experts on concussions.

ROSTER SHUFFLING: With Alfredsson out, Nikita Filatov will stay with the team. Whether he plays Tuesday in Boston, or whether it’s Zenon Konopka, is another question.
In goal, expect Craig Anderson against the Bruins, after getting Sunday off.
Backup goalie Alex Auld, out with a groin injury, skated Monday in Ottawa and is expected to be back on the weekend. He had to be put on the injured reserve to recall Filatov from Binghamton.

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