Alfredsson won’t return until concussion symptoms are gone

Daniel Alfredsson #11 of the Ottawa Senators is challenged by Steve Eminger #44 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 29, 2011 in New York City (Chris Trotman, Getty Images)

When Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean said the team will be following the NHL’s “concussion protocol” when it comes to Daniel Alfredsson, who won’t travel to Boston for Tuesday’s game, he was in effect saying that Alfredsson has a concussion.

Ottawa Senator head coach Paul MacLean has Daniel Alfredsson (R) in stitches as both the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators practice (Wayne Cuddington, Ottawa Citizen)

That had previously been suspected but not confirmed.

Alfredsson will 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 New York’s Wojtek Wolski on Saturday, 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, winger 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.

There’s no word on when backup Alex Auld will return from his undisclosed injury so Robin Lehner will stay with the team.

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