4:30 PM: Troy Rutkowski joined the Sens as a free agent this season during his time in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. He captained the team to a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup final appearance before coming into Ottawa for development camp this week. I got his thoughts on the experience thus far and his next steps moving forward.
On his development camp:
It has been good, it's been a tough experience. I feel like I just finished my season yesterday so to get back out there is good and it's been fun.
On his WHL season and Memorial Cup:
It was nice to get that championship that third time in the Western League. The Memorial Cup was a good experience, but it would have been get to get that one at the end there.
On his development:
Mike Johnson and Travis Green did a job in developing not just me but players. I think when I came into the league I was more offensive -- I was pretty strictly offensively minded -- and over the years that kind of changed into a two-way game. I tried to become more of a two-way d-man.
On the captaincy in Portland:
There have been a few great captains there and to follow up in that was an honour.
On his development camp experiences:
It's been good, it's really friendly here and it's nice being in a Canadian city. Everything has been good. I knew Wacey Hamilton a little bit, Darren Kramer and I have crossed paths through the years. It's been good, it's been fun and everyone has been really nice.
On his expectations:
I'm just trying to put out my best performance every time I hit the ice and so far I think I've done that. Like I said it has been fun.
4:00 PM: Buddy Robinson notched the game winner in last night's scrimmage after forcing a turnover at the blueline. I got his thoughts on being the hero for Team Black and how he's coming along since joining the Sens and at development camp.
On his scrimmage GWG:
(Laughs) It was pretty good to get one. I think the d-man made me look good there, I was trying to get it to Wace (Wacey Hamilton) but it went in, we won. That's what counts.
On the jump from NCAA to AHL:
It was good, when I got there I had a week to learn the system and Luke (Richardson) and (Steve) Stirling did a great job, I mean, they just taught me everything. I had a week of practices with the team and the guys were really good to me. It went as smooth as you can get pretty much. Of course it's a jump to the next level but all the coaches and players made it real smooth for me.
On his development:
I find it's a much more controlled game, everyone is where they're supposed to be. If you get out of position one time another team is going to make you pay for it. I feel like I had to work on that part of my game, just being in position more and making everything crisp out there and being ready.
On development camp:
I feel good -- it's a lot different. My first camp last year was in Vancouver and I was pretty nervous but I got a few games under my belt and I know most of the guys here so it has been really fun. I'm really comfortable here. Like I said, everyone has made me feel really welcome. It's been great so far.
On the differences in his first camp in Vancouver and this year in Ottawa:
There it seemed to me to be more business just because I didn't know anyone, I came in, didn't really know anybody and just focused on hockey. Here you focus and everyone works hard but you're with your friends so it just makes you want to push it even further.
On his expectations for this year:
I just want to have a great development camp, I'll have my exit interview here in a few days and then we'll go to training camp and see what happens. I'm going to work as hard as I can. And you never know -- if I come into training camp well prepared and see what happens. Hopefully I can get a few games in here or there.
On his style of game:
Everyone looks on the paper, they see how big I am before they even see me so everyone is expecting a big, physical game. That's what I try to do. I want to get in the corners and try to set up plays for guys who shoot the puck in the slot.
On two points in his first scrimmage:
It was pretty good, I don't think I got that assist but I'll take it. Just to get out here is great. The fan support is great, the cheer for me was pretty was neat. I was just out here enjoying it all.
On his ovation:
It was pretty good, I couldn't hold in my emotions there. I had a pretty big smile, but Senators fans have been great ever since I've been drafted and heard my name called they've been here to support me and I really like it.
On playing with Zibanejad/Conacher:
They made it a lot easier for me but I didn't want to hold them back, I guess you could say. I started out pretty sloppy -- getting used to the wing and getting the nerves out -- but once we got going we got that first goal. We actually drew it up in the dressing room and it worked to perfection, which is pretty neat.
On how he fared:
I thought I did really good. It's my first time playing wing since probably January so, just getting that adjustment, but also coming out here and doing my thing. I threw a couple solid hits, I kept the game simple. I made some mistakes but that's to be expected -- we're in the middle of summer here. I mean, it's a good stepping stone for myself leading into camp.
On playing wing vs. centre:
It's something that I still have to adjust to. I mean, I've played one game at the pro level now and it's not really a true game. I still have some adjusting to do, but to get that experience under my belt playing wing, because it is sort of my second position, it's going to go a long ways.
On if he's still getting up to speed from the layoff:
Oh for sure, especially today. We were on the ice for two hours today, we had a good workout and just getting out here. Our lungs felt it too but we wanted to put on a show for the fans and I think we did that.
Day four culminated in the always popular, well attended camp scrimmage. Team Black, powered by a top line of Mika Zibanejad, Cory Conacher and Curtis Lazar, took the game by a 3-1 score. Lazar and Conacher were the top point getters on the night. Lazar potted a goal and added an assist, while Conacher had a pair of helpers in the win.
Today is back to a regular day of on and off-ice workouts for the camp so stay tuned here for a behind the scenes look at what they're up to.
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