In his first appearance back in Ottawa since the summer began, Paul MacLean stopped by Bell Sensplex today for his final day with the Jack Adams Trophy. Earlier this summer, MacLean said he wanted to share the trophy with Ottawa and today was just that as Senators Summer Camp campers got their photos taken with the NHL's top coach and his award.
After he made the rounds with campers at Sensplex, MacLean met with the Ottawa media for the first time since he won the award in June.
Here's what he had to say...
On the Alfredsson departure:
I was disappointed like everybody but, at the same time, Daniel has earned the right to make that decision and he's made it and moved on and we're moving on. We're going to progress without him and start down a new path. It's a great opportunity for a number of our players to step into that leadership void and show that they can be a bigger part of the team than they have in the past.
On the shift in leadership:
We have a lot of confidence in the leadership group we have left. It's not just one guy who's going to step up. One guy is going to represent as Daniel did with the captaincy, but leadership isn't just a one person thing or a three person thing. It's an everybody thing. With me, it's everybody. That's going to be the expectation. Everybody is expected to come to the rink every day and provide leadership and be prepared to do their job every day. Not just one guy.
On the process behind a new captain:
We're going to go through a process. I've got to spend some time talking to the individuals, talking to Bryan Murray, talking to my coaching staff. We've done a lot of preliminary talk about it, but we're going to let the process — it's going to be a process but I don't think it's going to be a difficult one — and we just have to take the time and get through it... I'm not going to put a timeline on it. When we make the decision that's the day it's going to be.
On if players will be involved in choosing:
I don't think we'll ask players to vote. We'll talk to a number of players in consideration and talk to a number of people. We'll talk to the fans and even talking to the kids here and get their input on who it should be and when you do that there's a lot of different players that people believe are qualified to be the next captain of the Senators and I believe the same thing. The process that Bryan and I have to go through is sifting through it and finding who's going to be the best guy to represent the whole group.
On if the roster is better:
You can write a lot of things on paper, it's all done on the ice. We believe that we've made some changes in our group that we have an opportunity to be better, but if we don't come to the rink every day and work as hard as we've done or even harder than we've done in the past, we're going to get left behind. That's what excites us about this season, but that's also what scares us. That's our job, is to make sure is be more scared than excited.
On adding Ryan:
I'm excited about the opportunity he brings to us as someone that's a bonafide guy that's scored 35 goals in the league. He shoots the puck in the net and that's something we haven't had really since I've been here. I think that's exciting. The chemistry he gets, is it going to be with Jason Spezza or Kyle Turris or Mika (Zibanejad), whoever he gets the best chemistry with is who we're going to play him with, but I think having someone with that ability is certainly going to help our team's confidence as far as it comes to scoring goals.
On what he's looking for in a captain:
Someone who does it right every day and is a good representative of the team. The most important thing is you've got to be here every day and you've got to do it right.
On the curse of the Jack Adams:
There's lots of curses out there, I don't know if Jack has one or not. I bet you as a coach he cursed lots of times. I think that today is the last day that we have this. It's been a tremendous summer for myself and our coaching staff getting pats on the back, and well deserved too I might add, but after today this is over and we turn the page and we get started on next year. We know it's going to be hard and we really have to come to work and work even harder to be prepared as a team if we expect to have any success. We have to make sure we're always on it and we're on top of it and we have to make sure we're disciplined in how we approach the game so our expectations for the players don't become lighter, they have to become more.
On if there's more pressure:
Not for me at this point in time it doesn't. I think what the pressure is, is trying to be more successful. Having success in this league is a very difficult thing to do, but if you're consistent in your approach and how you do things, I believe that's the way you have success and that's what we're fighting to do is be consistent in our message to the players and our expectations to the players and, as a result, to our fans.
On the players who are fighting for open roster spots:
I like to say that the best players play. We're going to play eight exhibition games and we're going to sort out who the best players are or they're going to sort it out themselves, actually. The best 23 guys are going to stay here and play and if you're not one of those 23 guys, then we'll have to make arrangements for them play wherever that has to be, no matter what the circumstances are. The best players are going to be here and play.
On the challenges of realignment:
We've thought about it and every time you have a thought about it, it's complicated. I always come back to it's a hard league, no matter how it is or how they set it up it's going to be hard. We have to take it upon ourselves to be responsible for ourselves and make sure we're ready to play. If we do that we'll like where we are at the end.
On his summer:
I bought two boats, but they were kayaks. My wife and I had a wonderful summer. The weather was great in Nova Scotia, we ended up getting a couple of kayaks and ended up getting into that a little bit. It was fun.
On fan optimism:
I can't really speak for them. For myself, I know that, as I've said already, consistency is the hardest thing to do and the best way to success is to be consistent. If we're consistent I think they're going to like where we are.
Sens TV captured the scrum in full as well. You can watch it here below...
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