MacLean: Senators in no rush to name new captain

Friday, 08.30.2013 / 8:27 PM NHL.com

Daniel Alfredsson was captain of the Ottawa Senators for 13 seasons. Coach Paul MacLean is in no rush to name his replacement.

MacLean said Friday there's no timetable to name a new Senators captain after Alfredsson left the team to sign as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings.

"We're going to go through a process," MacLean said, according to the Senators' website. "I've got to spend some time talking to the individuals, talking to (general manager) 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."

Asked what he's looking for in a captain, MacLean said, "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."

Jason Spezza and Chris Phillips, and perhaps Chris Neil, each at times an alternate captain, are likely to be considered.

"We have a lot of confidence in the leadership group we have left," MacLean said, speaking at Bell Sensplex. "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."

MacLean thought one of those guys would again be Alfredsson, who left after 17 seasons with Ottawa.

"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," MacLean said. "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."

Bobby Ryan, acquired in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks the day Alfredsson left, is among the newcomers MacLean will coach for the first time.

"I'm excited about the opportunity he brings to us as someone that's a bona fide guy that's scored 35 goals in the League," MacLean said. "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."

MacLean won the Jack Adams Award last season and the Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before being eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"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," MacLean said. "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."

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