The Ottawa Senators announced Friday that Daniel Alfredsson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and the team doesn't expect him to miss more than a couple of weeks.
The arthroscopic surgery is designed to remove a bone chip in his right knee that was dislodged during the Senators second game of the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. It is not related to a similar injury he suffered in Toronto late last season.
Dany Heatley will be captain in Alfredsson's absence, while Jarkko Ruutu will take his spot on the top line. Head coach Craig Hartsburg sees the loss of the team's leader as an opportunity for other to step up.
"Certainly we're going to miss Alfie, he's out of our lineup, we're obviously a better team when he's in there, but it's a great opportunity for us to prove that we're different this year," Hartsburg told reporters.
"This is a group that wants to take great pride in being a team and doing whatever it takes. It's an opportunity for some people to step up, to do more. We don't need to change our plan, we're not going to change anything but this is a good challenge for us, and it's a great test right off the start to see how we react to it."
Doctors had told the Senators that their captain would be able to play through the injury for awhile, however surgery would eventually be necessary. The team decided to deal with the issue sooner rather than later.
"We need to be a team," general manager Bryan Murray told reporters on Friday. "We're certainly going to miss Aflie, but it's a great opportunity to prove we are different this year."
Hartsburg concurred and stated that the loss of their leader could prove a valuable learning tool.
"Every team in this league is going to go through it, you miss good players for games," said Hartsburg. "That's the thing we've been talking about since we started here in training camp, we need to be a team."
Alfredsson, 35, missed 12 games last season with hip and groin and knee injuries. In two games this season, the 13-year NHL veteran has two assists.