OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean and forward Bobby Ryan are looking at evolving their identities this season.
For MacLean, the NHL's coach of the year two seasons ago, it's a softening of the edge he felt was needed last season, but one that turned out to be too sharp.
For Ryan, who is coming off surgery for a sports hernia, it's an expanded role as he enters the last season of his contract and ponders his future and how he might fit into the Senators' picture over the long term. He can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.
How well the two grow and adapt to changing roles will go a long way toward determining the Senators' success this season, and, ultimately Ryan's future with the team.
As the Senators prepared to take off Friday for Newfoundland and a doubleheader of preseason games against the New York Islanders on Monday, MacLean was asked how he could be a better coach this season.
"Win more games?" he said. "Besides that? I think I just have to be myself. We ask the players to be themselves. I think it's important that I be myself and do what I do."