Alfie dons maple leaf, teammates scrap
Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa
A feel-good photo op by the Ottawa Senators offered up images that were a little less sanitized yesterday at Scotiabank Place.
With extra media already at practice yesterday to see Swedish Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson don a Team Canada jersey after losing a bet, the attention soon focused on an unexpected punch-up between team tough guy Brian McGrattan and goaltender Ray Emery.
Players quickly intervened, but not before the two players fired punches at each other after colliding during the warm-down skate.
“I was yelling at him because he just kind of pushes people out of the way when he wants to get by them and then we scrapped like buddies do every now and then, I guess,” said Emery.
Though they were quick to dismiss the flare up, it was not the first time the teammates have squared off.
“We used to live together, there were a couple incidents I think,” he said. “I’m not sure that I’d want to do it too often, though.”
After practice, forward Jason Spezza said the fight was just something that happens in close-knit groups.
“This is a big issue to you guys, but it’s nothing to us,” he said.
Spezza preferred to talk about Alfredsson, who he jokingly said was back-checking harder in practice after donning the Team Canada jersey.
Alfredsson had bet team owner Eugene Melnyk the Swedes would beat Canada in the recent world junior final, and offered to practice in a Team Canada jersey if he lost. Yesterday was time for Alfredsson to pay up.
“Definitely the jersey rubbed off on him a bit,” Spezza said. “Maybe he can get his passport switched and we could play together.”
Dany Heatley noted that the maple leaf crest looked good on Alfredsson.
“He’s got an Olympic gold medal with Sweden. No one else in here does, maybe he can help us get one,” Heatley said.
Alfredsson took his lumps stoically.
“I would have liked it to be the other way around, with Melnyk wearing the Swedish jersey … but maybe next year,” he said.