O Canada, Auld loves this deal
Goaltender says he's happy to return home to Canada to play for Senators
Alex Auld can't imagine a better way to script the next chapter in his National Hockey League playing career.
The onetime Vancouver Canucks starting goaltender is back in his homeland again and, after making stops in Florida, Phoenix and Boston, he couldn't be happier to say so.
"I'm very excited to be playing in Canada again," Auld told reporters on a conference call a few hours after officially joining the Senators. "Any player that's played in this country knows how exciting that is. Having spent some time in Vancouver, it's a lot of fun.
"(Playing in Ottawa) kind of reminds me of what it was like in Vancouver and the other Canadian cities. There's a lot of passion (for hockey) and that's a big draw, playing in your home country and it's our nation's capital, too."
The 27-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ont., received several offers on the first day of the NHL's free-agency season but in the end, the call to return home won out.
"There were other teams (that showed interest)," he said. "But at the same time, I believed a lot in everything to do with Ottawa, from the team, the organization, playing in Canada, the money, the term of the contract and the opportunity that it presented to myself. And being able to live and hopefully live for a long time and raise a family in a city like Ottawa was also very desirable.
"It's one of things where everything seemed to fit."
The signing also reunites Auld with Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who selected the 6-foot-5 goaltender in the second round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft when he held the same post with the Florida Panthers.
"I met (Murray) at the draft and a couple of training camps," said Auld. "He drafted me and (Senators assistant general manager) Tim Murray was also involved with the Panthers at the time. So there's a history there and it's nice to brought back by a GM, so to speak.
"Obviously, they saw something in me at 18 years old to draft me in the second round ... We're reunited and hopefully it's a more of a long-term relationship this time."