New York Hockey: Daniel Alfredsson

Free agency period begins

July, 5, 2013
7/05/13
11:37
AM ET
At noon on Friday, the market will open for unrestricted free agents -- the most anticipated day of the NHL offseason.

Several marquee players are already off the board because the league added a two-day window before the official start of free agency, during which pending free agents could speak with interested teams and arrive at agreements. Danny Briere signed with Montreal, and Daniel Alfredsson is reportedly headed to Detroit. But there still are some appealing candidates available to the local NHL teams.

Though the Rangers' salary-cap issues are prohibitive and preclude spending much more than pocket change -- barring a trade that could free up space -- the Islanders and Devils could be aggressive.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello stunned the hometown crowd at the draft Sunday at Newark's Prudential Center, trading for Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider. Lamoriello has been active ever since, going after Briere before the veteran center signed with the Habs and re-signing Patrik Elias on Thursday.

The Islanders also were interested in Briere (though they were never considered the front-runners) and are looking to make some upgrades after a surprising run to the playoffs this spring. With goaltender Evgeni Nabokov testing the market, the Isles will be looking for help between the pipes. The departure of captain Mark Streit, who was traded to the Flyers last month, also creates an immediate need on defense.

Considering the dramatic reduction of the salary cap for next season, this could be a particularly frenzied first day of free agency.

Stay tuned to ESPN.com throughout the day for updates.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Senators 1

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
9:33
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: In a nail-biter of a Game 7 that lived up to an exciting and evenly matched first-round series, the Rangers held on to outlast the Senators and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden.

The Senators cut into the Rangers' 2-0 lead in the second period and threatened a late-game comeback in the third, but the Blueshirts kept a white-knuckle grip on their one-goal lead to advance to Round 2. The Rangers now move on to face the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals.

Rookie rules: In what was his best game as a Ranger so far, rookie Chris Kreider made a spectacular play to set up the game's first goal. Kreider, who signed an entry-level deal with the team just weeks ago, forced Senators forward Nick Foligno to cough the puck up along the boards, creating a rush for the Rangers. Marc Staal then buried a beautiful feed from center Derek Stepan to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 4:46 in the second.

Banner night for blue line: The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the second period with key contributions from defensemen Staal and Dan Girardi. Kreider's hustle play in the neutral zone led to Staal's first goal. Girardi tallied from the slot midway through the period at 9:04.

Captain comes through: In his second game back from a concussion, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson unleashed a blast from the point for a power-play goal to cut the Rangers' lead in half, 2-1 at 11:34 of the second. The man-up marker was his second goal of the playoffs.

Hostile crowd: The Madison Square Garden crowd wasted no time making the visiting team feel its wrath, serenading Senators antagonist Chris Neil with various taunts and jeers. When a bold faction of Ottawa fans tried starting the team's 11-minute-mark chant for Alfredsson, Blueshirts faithful countered back with their own less-friendly variation.

Early chances: The Rangers had a couple of their best chances of the night within the first 5:11 minutes of play but came away scoreless. Senators goaltender Craig Anderson denied Marian Gaborik on a 2-on-1 rush at 2:58. Minutes later, Girardi shot wide when facing an open net with Anderson tangled up with Brandon Prust behind the net.

Up Next: Rangers vs. Capitals, 3 p.m. Saturday at the Garden.

Sens confident at Madison Square Garden

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
12:59
PM ET
The Rangers are happy to have home-ice advantage for the series finale Thursday at Madison Square Garden, but the World's Most Famous Arena has not been such a hostile place for the eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa has won two of three games this series at MSG, as well of both road games against the Rangers during the regular season.

"I think it gives us confidence, for sure. We've won here lots of times" said Senators coach Paul MacLean after Thursday's morning skate. "Our players enjoy coming to New York City, they enjoy playing here and we just have to do it one more time."

Said captain Daniel Alfredsson:

"We feel we can play good in this building, no question. We all know it's going to take a great effort from everybody to win tonight, but like I said, just go out, everything's on the line and we'll see who can grab it."

• • •


Both Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner, who did not practice with the team Wednesday, are available to play according to MacLean.

Game 6 roundup

April, 24, 2012
4/24/12
5:01
PM ET
The Rangers defeated the Senators, 3-2, on Monday night to force a Game 7. Chris Kreider scored the game-clinching goal for the Rangers while goalie Henrik Lundqvist blasted the league about Ottawa's second goal.

" Read game stories from last night's Game 6 in the Daily News, The Post, The Record, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.

" John Tortorella addressed the media on Tuesday. He had no comment about the incident between Milan Milachek, and Chris Neil's warning to Michael Del Zotto. The league is going to be reviewing the incident between Milachek and Girardi.

" Kreider had been playing guiding Boston College to a national title just a few weeks ago before his big goal last night. Read more about it in the Daily News and The Post.

" Lundqvist is usually very calm but did not agree with Ottawa's second goal being allowed, saying that "someone wants them back in the game." Read more in The Post.

" The New York times writes about Brad Richards on the power play. The Rangers' play on the power play was a key theme of the game.

"Daniel Alfredsson returned Monday after missing three games with a concussion and had an outburst in the loss. You can read more about what he said in The Globe and Mail.

" A couple of Ottawa's stars were benched at the beginning of the third period, but there is no residual effect, writes NHL.com
With the chance to close out the series at home against the Rangers, the Senators will have captain Daniel Alfredsson back in the lineup.

The 39-year-old veteran missed the past three games with a concussion suffered in Game 2 after a hit from Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin. Hagelin will also return after serving a three-game suspension for the hit.

Although Alfredsson's return has been confirmed, Senators coach Paul MacLean did not reveal the rest of his lineup; he said he is still "considering" his options.

One of those will be top prospect Jakob Silfverberg, who recently joined the team after earning playoff MVP honors in the Swedish Elite League. The 21-year-old winger finished with 24 goals and 30 assists in 49 games for Byrnas of the SEL.

MacLean also has another top prospect at his disposal in Mark Stone, who made an impressive NHL debut against the Rangers Saturday. The 19-year-old Winnipeg native, only weeks removed from finishing his junior hockey season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, set up Jason Spezza's first-period marker to record his first NHL point in the Senators 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Senators

April, 21, 2012
4/21/12
1:49
PM ET
At a glance: Tied at 2-2, the series returns to New York for a pivotal Game 5 at Madison Square Garden between the Rangers and Senators. So much for what was expected of a 1 vs. 8 match-up – the series has been as even as any throughout he first-round of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The Rangers hope to reclaim momentum before heading back to Ottawa on Monday while the Senators aim for yet another upset without captain Daniel Alfredsson.

OT woes: Should Saturday’s contest head into overtime, the odds are not in New York’s favor. The Rangers have dropped both sudden death sessions this series and have failed to record an overtime win since April 29, 2007. Their mind-boggling skid stands at seven straight playoff overtime losses.

Separation anxiety: Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards appear to be separated once again. Although the tandem combined on the team’s top line during the second half of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs, they were severed once again in Game 4.

Skipping stones: All indications are that Senators prospect Mark Stone is set to make his NHL debut Saturday. Should he be in Ottawa’s lineup for Game 5, the 19-year-old Winnipeg, Manitoba native is in for a daunting leap. The former sixth-round draft pick just recently finished his fourth season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and would be making the jump from junior hockey to the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to the show, kid.

Alfie update: Daniel Alfredsson will miss his third straight game after suffering a concussion in Game 3, but skated Saturday back in Ottawa and “made progress” according to Senators coach Paul MacLean. MacLean reported no changes to the status of injured forward Jesse Winchester.

Hang on, Hagelin: Carl Hagelin will serve the last of a three-game suspension for his hit on Alfredsson that forced the Senators captain from the game last Saturday. The Rangers have sorely missed Hagelin’s speed and forechecking pressure in the pair of game he has missed.
Already missing veteran captain Daniel Alfredsson, the Senators witnessed an unwelcome sight in the second period of Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win -- another one of their top three forwards down on the ice in the aftermath of a big hit.

Leading the way with Alfredsson out, top-line center Jason Spezza left the game during the second period after getting leveled by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal while carrying the puck into the Senators zone with his head down.

Although the hit left Spezza reeling at first, he returned to the game to start the third period. Staal, who was not penalized for the hit, didn't think the play warranted any outcry.

"My read was that he had the puck pulled to the outside. I kind of bit on it and he pulls right back into me and his head went into my chest," Staal said. "I haven't see it or anything but I don't think it was anything too vicious."

Although the NHL's Department of Player Safety's actions have been difficult to predict of late -- the league's disciplinary arm has come under fire after a number of questionable rulings -- Staal is not expected to face any supplementary discipline.

Good thing for the Rangers, too. The team is already without rookie winger Carl Hagelin, who served the second of a three-game suspension assessed for his elbow on Alfredsson in Game 1.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Senators

April, 18, 2012
4/18/12
3:36
PM ET
At a glance: The Rangers take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 Wednesday at Scotiabank Place with the Senators looking to even things up before the best-of-seven set heads back to New York. The first-place Rangers have the edge over the eighth-seeded Senators but the two teams have played pretty evenly through the first three games of the series. Can Ottawa rally around the absence of their captain? Or will the Rangers pull one game closer to knocking off the Senators and advancing to Round 2?

Alfredsson unlikely: It appears the Senators will be without their captain Daniel Alfredsson for the second straight game. The 39-year-old Swede sustained a concussion after Carl Hagelin's suspension-worthy elbow hit during Game 1 on Saturday and suffered a setback that held him out of Game 3 on Monday. Senators coach Paul MacLean said there was “no change” in Alfredsson’s status when asked about his availability Wednesday morning.

Folk hero: With a goal in the first three games of the series -- including the game-winner in New York’s 1-0 win Monday – Brian Boyle has become the player to watch. The 6-7 center was booed and taunted in his first Ottawa appearance since roughing up Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in Game 1. He seemed to relish the “villain” role, however, tallying the game’s lone marker for his eighth goal in the last 12 games.

Top-line troubles: Without Alfredsson, the pressure for the Senators' top line to produce can only escalate. So far, they have failed to make much of an impact. Both Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, who combined for 69 goals during the regular season, have been limited to one goal apiece during the series.

Stingy swede: A tight series between the two clubs has highlighted the Rangers’ clear advantage: goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The 30-year-old Swede has surrendered only five goals on 103 shots and blanked Ottawa on all 39 attempts Monday to earn his ninth shutout of the season. It was the 13th time in his career that he had posted 20 saves or more in a playoff game.

Power-play problems: The Senators’ threatening power-play has failed to inflict any damage in the first trio of games. Granted, the unit missed Alfredsson in Game 3, but the Sens have been held to only one man-up goal in 10 attempts.

'No change' for Alfredsson

April, 18, 2012
4/18/12
11:29
AM ET
Although Senators coach Paul MacLean was cryptic about any and all lineup decisions, it doesn't appear captain Daniel Alfredsson will play Wednesday.

"No change," MacLean said when asked for an update on the injured veteran's status.

Alfredsson missed Monday's Game 3 -- a 1-0 win for the Rangers -- after suffering a setback from a concussion. He originally sustained the injury Saturday on a hit from Carl Hagelin that earned the 23-year-old Rangers rookie a three-game suspension.

Down 2-1 in the series, the Senators hope to use Alfredsson's absence as a rallying point before the series heads back to New York.

"We're a better team with him in the lineup but if he can't play, it's an opportunity for other guys to make an impact," said alternate captain Jason Spezza.

Alfredsson suffers "setback"

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
1:58
PM ET
Kanata, Ontario -- Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who sustained a concussion in Game 2 against the Rangers Saturday, suffered a setback after Monday's morning skate, coach Paul MacLean confirmed. The 39-year-old veteran sat out Monday's match -- a 1-0 shutout loss to the Rangers -- and doesn't look like he'll be available for Game 4.

Although Alfredsson told reporters Monday morning he was feeling
better after Carl Hagelin's suspension-worthy hit forced him from Saturday's game, some symptoms resurfaced prior to Ottawa's first home game of the series. MacLean did not rule out Alfredsson for Wednesday, but it appears unlikely he will play.

"He's the captain of the team, the most experienced player on the team," MacLean said. "It's a big loss for any team."

Alternate captain Jason Spezza, who along with top winger Milan Michalek has been held without a goal in the first three games, said the loss of Alfredsson in Game 3 was a prime opportunity for other players to step up.

"Our depth is as strong as it has been in a long time," he said after Tuesday's practice at Scotiabank Place. "That said, you can't replace a veteran like Daniel Alfredsson."

Alfredsson missed five games earlier this season with a concussion
after a questionable hit from then-Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski in the two clubs' first meeting October 29.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 1, Senators 0

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
9:54
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: Even without the bloodthirsty brutality of Saturday's match, Game 3 between the Rangers and Senators did not lack for drama. Brian Boyle silenced the jeers of a boisterous Ottawa crowd, snapping a scoreless draw with his backhander at 7:35 in the third to continue his hot streak and boost the Rangers over the Senators 1-0 at Scotiabank Place. Both Ottawa's Craig Anderson and New York's Henrik Lundqvist were tremendous, but Lundqvist prevailed with a 39-save effort for his 44th career shutout and ninth of the season. With the win, the Rangers took a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Wednesday.

On a roll: Taunted throughout the match, Boyle responded by backhanding the puck past Anderson for the game's first and only goal. It was Boyle's third goal in as many games.

Kreider debut: One week after coming out of college and signing with the Rangers, Chris Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The 20-year-old winger, who replaced a suspended Carl Hagelin in the lineup, was thrown right into the fire, too. He skated on a line with center Brad Richards and winger Marian Gaborik.

Boo birds: Still upset about his treatment of Ottawa's prized young defenseman Erik Karlsson, the sellout crowd at Scotiabank Place booed and taunted Boyle throughout the game. After roughing up Karlsson in Game 1, Boyle was targeted two nights later. Defenseman Matt Carkner was suspended after pummeling Boyle 2:15 into play Saturday, and Sens tough guy Chris Neil dropped the gloves with him later in the period.

Alfredsson out: The Senators played their first home-ice playoff game of 2012 without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who said he suffered a concussion from Hagelin’s hit on Saturday night. Although the veteran forward made improvement after the team’s morning skate on Monday, the Senators decided to hold him out. Hagelin served the first game of a three-game suspension for the hit.

Up Next: Rangers at Senators, Game 4, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Senators

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
4:45
PM ET
At a glance: With tensions high and the series split 1-1, the Rangers and Senators head north for Game 3 in Ottawa on Monday night. Saturday’s nasty affair set the stage for a rematch in Canada’s capital. As the series progresses, the gamesmanship and subterfuge continue with both teams keeping lineup decisions under tight wraps.

Captain comeback: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson confirmed that he suffered a concussion on Carl Hagelin’s hit that earned the 23-year-old rookie a three-game ban. However, he could play Monday. The 39-year-old veteran said he’s feeling better and will be a game-time decision.

Short one Swede: Hagelin will serve the first game of a three-game suspension as he sits out Game 3 in Ottawa. The speedy winger was hit with the harshest punishment of the playoffs thus far for his elbow on the fellow Swede. Hagelin is eligible to return for Game 6, if necessary.

Hole to fill: Rangers coach John Tortorella would not divulge whom he’ll use to fill the team’s void in the lineup while Hagelin sits. The most attractive option is top prospect Chris Kreider, who left college early to turn pro last week. The Rangers also could use hulking enforcer John Scott, who has not played since March 9. Both players are expected to take warm-ups.

Possible debut: If Tortorella elects to give Kreider a look, the Boxford, Mass., native will make his NHL debut in front of a hostile crowd at Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place. Kreider joined the team after signing a three-year, entry-level deal last week but has been scratched the past two games. He recently helped lead Boston College to its second national championship in three years.

Gag order: The supplementary discipline did not end Sunday. The league announced the decision to fine Senators tough guy Zenon Konopka $2,500 Monday afternoon. According to an NHL release, Konopka was docked for verbal abuse toward a Rangers player who was doing a live television interview during Saturday’s pregame warm-ups. The Senators were also fined $10,000 for the incident.

Alfredsson a "game-time decision"

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
11:34
AM ET
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson may play in Game 3; the 39-year-old practiced in the team's morning skate Monday and said he is feeling better after Carl Hagelin's suspension-earning hit forced him from Game 2 Saturday night.

"We'll see tonight," he said from Ottawa's Scotiabank Place.

Sens coach Paul MacLean said that Alfredsson passed a baseline test and is a "game-time decision."
Despite confusion to the contrary, Carl Hagelin's three-game suspension will stand regardless of Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson's status for Game, VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

Shanahan appeared on WFAN's Boomer and Carton show Monday morning to discuss the supplementary discipline handed down following a vicious battle between the Rangers and Senators in Game 3.

When asked if he would change his opinion if Alfreddson "miraculously" returned Monday night, Shanahan said "I think that's a possibility," but was clearly referring to Alfredsson's possible return, not the potential lessening of Hagelin's sentence.

As for the discrepancy between Hagelin's three-game ban for the elbow that forced Alfredsson from the game and the one-game suspension assessed to Ottawa's Matt Carkner for pummeling Brian Boyle, Shanahan said:

"The biggest difference is there is a head injury and concussion on one and no injury on the other."

Shanahan said he was told by the Senators medical staff that Alfredsson could miss "one day or one year." His status remains uncertain for tonight, although his teammate Erik Karlsson announced him as a "game-time decision."

As far as Ottawa's Chris Phillips' hit on Ryan Callahan, Shanahan said he did not feel that the two plays were comparable. He called Phillips' blow a "shoulder check to the body," with subsequent contact to the the head.

In response to the anger that the two plays were not dealt with even-handedly -- the Rangers indirectly alluded to this with a statement Sunday night that the team was "thoroughly perplexed" by the league's "inconsistency" -- Shanahan said the incidents were not viewed in a similar light.

"Not even remotely the same degree," Shanahan said of the Phillips hit.

Stay tuned for more today from Scotiabank Place...

Video: Fists and elbows flying

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
4:18
PM ET



ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang analyzes the aftermath of Saturday night's brutal Game 2 between the Rangers and Ottawa Senators. Old-time hockey, eh?



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