Lockout News: Weird feelings, strange sweaters and an injury to Michalek

Day Two of the NHL Lockout resulted in some “weird” feelings and some strange fashion for Ottawa Senators players.

First, the strange. Senators players, forbidden by team management to wear team-affiliated sweaters for their informal skate at the Bell Sensplex Monday morning, made a small scene before sporting a new look. Several players arrived on the ice sweaterless, allowing their shoulder pads to show, as they made a few laps of the ice. Eventually, they donned navy blue jerseys with “Bell Sensplex” or “Central Junior Hockey League” written on them for practice drills and a scrimmage.

The club’s top prospects, who will be headed to Binghamton for the opening of the American Hockey League’s training camp on Sept. 27, chose to wear their Senators sweaters inside out.

Consider it another small battle in the PR war between the players and owners, but Senators players acknowledged that nothing much has changed from last week. On both occasions, former Gatineau Olympiques coach Jon Chabot has been the informal coach.

“We fully expected (the lockout) and nothing is different…other than some of us having to find some different jerseys today,” defenceman Chris Phillips said, with a laugh. “Training camp was not even scheduled to open until (Friday) and it’s not that different, other than not being able to go to (Scotiabank Place) and having those things over there to use.”

Phillips says the players are in good spirits, “working hard to keep up our fitness and be ready to go for when things start up.”

Winger Colin Greening did acknowledge that “it’s a little bit weird” skating with Senators teammates while there’s no timetable for when the lockout will end. “Your guess is as good as mine, hopefully a resolution comes quick,” he said.
Goaltender Craig Anderson, who had been training in Florida until last week, says Ottawa is the best place he can be as he works out, hoping for a settlement.

“Players want to do what we do best, playing hockey, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s out of my control and we put our leaders in charge and that’s who we’re standing behind.”

 

MICHALEK HAS ABDOMINAL SURGERY

 

Senators winger Milan Michalek had abdominal surgery in Philadelphia last Tuesday and the rehabilitation is expected to take between four and six weeks.

Michalek suffered a torn abdominal muscle while training in Montreal in late August.

Interestingly, if Michalek doesn’t recover as quickly as expected, it’s believed the Senators would be forced to pay him the pro-rated portion of his $4.333 million salary while he’s out because the injury occurred before the lockout.

Under normal circumstances, a player is deemed fit to play when cleared by team doctors and the doctor who performed the surgery.

 

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