Carker out indefinitely after knee surgery Monday

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray revealed Monday that Matt Carkner had just undergone knee surgery and would be out indefinitely.

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray revealed Monday that Matt Carkner had undergone knee surgery and will be out indefinitely.

Carker initially hurt the knee last April and re-aggravated it during training camp.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for a player who was already in a battle for the sixth and seventh defence spots on the Senators’ roster.

The injury does make life easier for Murray and head coach Paul MacLean when it comes to deciding who plays now, however.

MacLean suggested Monday that rookie Jared Cowen was his best defenceman in training camp, so he isn’t going anywhere. He’ll get top minutes to start the season.

There was some question as to what the team would do with the other rookie D-man, David Rundblad, who wasn’t bad at camp but didn’t stand out either. Ideally, Rundblad would go to AHL Binghamton if the team doesn’t feel he’s ready for the NHL, but he has hinted he’d rather return to Sweden if that were the case.

With Carkner out, however, the team can keep Rundblad around and continue his evaluation without worrying about a big logjam on defence.

Here were the lines and defence pairings at practice Monday morning:

Michalek-Spezza-Filatov
Greening-Zibanejad-Alfredsson
Foligno-Smith-Neil
Condra-Konopka-Butler

Centre Peter Regin wasn’t skating, but he’s still expected to be in the lineup against the Red Wings Friday. That would necessitate some line shuffling. If he isn’t ready to go, Stephane Da Costa is skating and ready to go. Mika Zibanejad was particularly pleased to be playing with Daniel Alfredsson, saying it was a “dream come true” for him.

Here are Monday’s defence pairs:

Cowen-Gonchar
Phillips-Lee
Kuba-Karlsson

The team will practice here again tomorrow before leaving for some team-building activities in London, Ont.

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