By Ken Warren
Jesse Winchester isn’t about to circle any dates on the calendar, aiming for a target date to return from his concussion.
The last time he did that, he says, “it didn’t work out well”.
Just the same, he finally had reason to smile Monday, joining his teammates for practice for the first time since being checked from behind and into the end boards by Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad on Dec. 20.
“I’ve been working pretty hard in the gym and it progressed pretty well and with the little (all-star) break, I felt rested and re-energized,” he said.
Winchester, who has had some setbacks in the past month, has learned to treat all concussion symptoms — he has experienced vertigo and fogginess — as seriously as possible.
“We all want to be out there and in some cases, I think, we might hide our symptoms once in a while just to try and push it, but that might not be the best idea in the long run. The trainers have been great in helping me progress the right way.”
SURGERY FOR REGIN
It was a foregone conclusion, but injured centre Peter Regin finally had surgery on his injured left shoulder in Toronto during the all-star break. The rehabilitation time is expected to be four to six months, just like last season when he had the same surgery to the same shoulder. Unless the Senators re-sign him, Regin will a free agent in the summer. … Brian Lee, who has missed the past seven games with a lower-body injury, practised on Monday, but isn’t expected to play against the Bruins. With no extra bodies in Ottawa — defenceman Mark Borowiecki and winger Andre Petersson — were returned to Binghamton during the all-star break — Matt Carkner will be in the lineup against Boston.
ANOTHER HONOUR FOR ALFREDSSON
As if the all-star attention wasn’t enough for Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, the NHL awarded him with the third star of the week on Monday. Alfredsson scored once in each of the Senators’ final two games before the break and also netted two goals and an assist in the All-Star Game on Sunday. Toronto Maple Leafs centre Mikhail Grabovski was named first star of the week and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was second star.
GREENING WOWED BY CHARA’S SHOT
Senators rookie Colin Greening found himself staring in wonder at how hard Boston’s Zdeno Chara could shoot the puck during Saturday’s All-Star Skills Competition. Chara hit 108.8 m.p.h. on the radar gun, breaking his own NHL record. Fortunately, Greening said, Chara didn’t use his shot during the All-Star Game.
“I think he understands he can hurt people with it,” he said.
Greening also knows that he might find himself forced to block a Chara shot Tuesday.
“I guess I will make sure Gerry (Townend, Senators head athletic therapist) brings lots of ice in case I take one in the ankle.”
Greening plans on framing his all-star sweater and sending it home to his parents.
HUURICANES RE-SIGN GLEASON
Forget about Tim Gleason ever returning to the Senators.
There was a belief that Senators general manager Bryan Murray had some interest in trading for the Carolina Hurricanes defenceman to enhance the club’s run to the playoffs, but that went out the window when he signed a four-year, $16-million U.S. extension with the Hurricanes on Monday.
Gleason was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent defenceman on July 1.
The Senators were only one of several teams believed to have been interested in Gleason, who was originally drafted by Ottawa, 23rd overall, in 2001.
By Ken Warren