Another week, another Ottawa Senator to pop by Bell Sensplex and spend an afternoon with the kids at Sens Summer Camps.
Mika Zibanejad did just that on Wednesday and spent some time doing some guest instruction — though, "don't fall down so much" is something you learn on your own — and met with the media between sessions. He covered a whole bunch of stuff during the session so let's dive right in.
Here's what he had to say...
On his summer in Ottawa:
(I've spent) most of it here, I'd say. I've been back home for about a month in total — two weeks after the season and two weeks after development camp — but otherwise I've been spending it here. It's been good.
On why he stayed in Ottawa:
I rent a house now here and it's been good training with Chriz Schwarz. I see that kind of worked with being off for other guys, staying back here and getting in a good summer would be good for me. It's been hard work, it's been up and down with how hard we work some weeks and just getting ready for camp.
On next steps:
I think consistency. I think, you know, staying consistent in a season, obviously you're going to dip and have your low moments, but make sure you don't dip too low. Show up every night, practice hard and play hard and just stick to it.
On roles opening within the team:
I guess so. We're getting two good players instead of them, I guess. It's going to be an interesting and fun year. I'm just trying to take another step forward from last year and just get better and try to learn something new every day.
On what he needs to work on:
It's hard to say. I think as a young guy you have to work on pretty much everything. You try to get better, just a little bit better and it's going to make you better, just working hard. Like I said, the consistency is big for me this year. This season is a bit longer compared to last season even though I played down in Binghamton — it's more travel — it's a tough schedule and you just have to be ready.
On the departures of Alfredsson and Silfverberg:
Obviously (he's sad to see them go), you start to get to know them — Silfverberg a bit more because we played in Binghamton together — but I mean, I wish them luck in their careers and don't want to lose when we play against them.
On if he has spoken to them:
We (Mika and Alfredsson) skated on Monday together so we talked a little bit, not much. Silfverberg I've been texting a bit. They're busy doing what they have to do and I'm busy doing what I have to do.
On being out with the kids at Sensplex:
It was fun. I remember when I was this young, even though I'm not old. I'm just having fun with the kids, it's always a good thing to get yourself into.
On playing soccer in Ottawa:
Yeah, I like soccer, I watch soccer and I've been playing soccer back home so I found a league here and I've been playing — only four games this summer — but hopefully I'll get more games next year.
On his sports background:
I grew up playing soccer. It was soccer, tennis and hockey for me when I was a kid. I want to say that I still have it in me.
On if he gets recognized:
Yeah, sometimes. It's not too bad during the game, but after people come up to you and talk to you. It's a fun thing to do off the ice too and not just have hockey all year, every day. It's a good feeling having a variation of other sports, too. I've been playing a bit of softball too. It's good to have other stuff to do.
On Olympic potential:
I feel like there's no rush there. I just want to get settled and become a good player here. If they want me, they want me. It's nothing I've been talking to them about.
After his standard media session, Mika made some time for Sens TV to continue our strictly "NO HOCKEY ALLOWED" one-on-one tradition. He gave us some great insight into his summer and hobbies.
Take a look...
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