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Senators provide 'really good fit' for Latendresse

Free-agent forward inks one-year deal with Ottawa, says his health woes are in past

Sunday, 01.07.2012 / 7:01 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Senators provide \'really good fit\' for Latendresse
Free-agent signing Guillaume Latendresse hopes to bring some offensive punch to the Senators (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images).

His mere presence at Scotiabank Place said plenty about the new hockey home that Guillaume Latendresse has chosen.

"This was a great fit to me," the 25-year-old native of Ste-Catherine, Que., told a group of assembled media after inking a one-year deal with the Senators earlier today. "It’s close to home and I had a few teams that I was pointing at, but I like the team in Ottawa and I want to see how it’s going to be. I hope I can have success here."

An unrestricted free agent, Latendresse made the short drive from his Montreal-area home to sign with the Senators. A former second-round pick by the Montreal Canadiens, the 6-2, 230-pound forward spent three seasons with the Habs before being dealt to the Wild on Nov. 23, 2009. He scored a career-high 27 goals that season — all but two of them coming after the trade — and believes he can bring that kind of offensive punch to Ottawa.

Latendresse is also confident he is past the injuries that limited him to 27 games over the last two seasons. He underwent hip surgery during the 2010-11 campaign, in which he saw action in just 11 games, while concussion issues cut his 2011-12 season to 16 games.

"I know what kind of player I am," said Latendresse, who will wear No. 73 ("my old midget AAA number") with the Senators. "I know what I can bring to the team and I think Ottawa was a really good fit for me. As far as my injury goes, I’m really 100 per cent now and if I can be the player I was when I first came to Minnesota, I think I can bring a lot to that team.

"I think everybody is real excited (about the signing) around here. I’m excited, I think the coaching staff and everybody is pretty happy about it and we’ll try to make the best out of it."

Senators general manager Bryan Murray believes Latendresse will be hungry to prove he can still be a significant contributor at the National Hockey League level.

"The thing I like is that (Latendresse and free-agent defence pickup Mike Lundin) have one-year contracts," said Murray. "It’s a great opportunity for them to showcase themselves and help us at the same time."

Added Latendresse: "If I look at top six, that could be good a (forward) spot for me. I think I’m an offensive guy and I can bring that, for sure."

A former hero in Montreal, he's also very much aware of the Senators' schedule already.

"Season opener at the Bell Centre?" he said with an eye toward the Oct. 11 matchup in Montreal against the Canadiens. "I looked at the calendar already. That’s going to be pretty exciting and it’s going to be pretty fun. The rivalry with those guys ... it's going to be great."




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
4 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
5 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
6 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
7 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
8 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31


B. Ryan 44 13 22 5 35
E. Karlsson 47 11 22 -8 33
K. Turris 47 9 21 -9 30
M. Stone 45 11 15 8 26
M. Hoffman 44 16 9 17 25
C. MacArthur 46 13 12 -9 25
M. Zibanejad 45 12 12 -1 24
D. Legwand 45 7 12 -4 19
A. Chiasson 44 8 10 -8 18
M. Michalek 43 6 9 -7 15
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 6 8 2 .900 3.21