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Features
 

Senators moving forward in new season

Heatley welcomes a major new opportunity to take on bigger leadership role

Friday, 10.3.2008 / 1:03 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Senators moving forward in new season



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STOCKHOLM — Nobody questions Dany Heatley's importance to the Ottawa Senators' fortunes on the offensive end of the ice.

But the two-time 50-goal scorer says he’s more than ready to embrace an even bigger role with the team in the season ahead. Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg announced today that when Ottawa opens its season against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at the Globe Arena (2:30 p.m. ET, CBC, Team 1200), Heatley will step on the ice with an “'A”' on his jersey. He joins defenceman Chris Phillips as one of the team's two alternate captains for the season ahead.

Heatley sees it as a bigger chance to prove his contributions extend far beyond the scoresheet.

"I just think, especially as an offensive guy, you get labelled as poor in other areas — poor defensively and things like that," he said. "That might have been the case early on in my career but I think I’ve learned a lot and improved in the last six years. I just appreciate that they’ve given me that chance to wear a letter and a chance to play in different situations with more responsibility."

It's a role that captain Daniel Alfredsson believes his linemate will embrace in a major way.

"He’s just grown more comfortable," said Alfredsson, who will wear the captain's “'C”' in Ottawa for a 10th straight season. "(Heatley) knows he’s one of the best goal scorers in the league but he’s taking on a bigger role every year because he knows he’s becoming a better player.

"He’s a guy that puts his time in on the ice. He works hard at getting better and wants to (expand) his game more. He talks about wanting to kill penalties more and contribute in different ways than just scoring goals. It’s just the evolution of a really good player."

Hartsburg admitted he had plenty of candidates to consider for the alternate captain's position previously held by departed defenceman Wade Redden, but saw Heatley as a player ready to take on a bigger leadership role.

"Just (based on) my conversations with Dany over the summer, and observing and watching players from the start of training camp and how they’ve acted or interacted with their teammates and their work habits," said Hartsburg in explaining his choice. "I think Dany will do a great job for us.

"To me, leadership is about how you act on the ice and how you prepare yourself to play. Certainly, there’s times when you have to speak up but it’s more about their actions then what they say. At least that’s the belief I had as a player and a coach -, that you lead by example."

Alfredsson's absence 'nothing serious'

Alfredsson and centre Mike Fisher both sat out this afternoon's practice at the Globe Arena. Fisher tweaked his groin during Thursday night's exhibition game against the Frolunda Indians, but Hartsburg isn't yet ruling him out for tomorrow's first of two games against the Penguins. "He actually feels a lot better today and he’s going to try skating tomorrow," said Hartsburg. "It’ll probably be a game-time decision." With Fisher absent, Dean McAmmond — one of the two forward scratches against Frolunda — skated today on a line with Cody Bass and Christoph Schubert. Alfredsson, meanwhile, took a day off to give "some bumps and bruises" a rest. "I'll be ready for tomorrow," he said. "It's nothing serious."

Around the boards

Before today's practice, Alfredsson and Senators owner Eugene Melnyk met with 15 youngsters from a local Fryshuset (a YMCA-like organization) this morning. Each was presented with a Sens jersey bearing Alfredsson's name and number, and the captain autographed them all. The meeting was arranged by the Canadian embassy in Stockholm and ambassador Alexandra Volkoff ... The ice at the Globe Arena is four feet shorter than the regulation 200 feet used in NHL games. But nobody seems to think it'll affect play in any major way. "Both teams have to play the game and deal with the same situation, so we’ll deal with it," said Hartsburg.



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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02