Erik Condra signed a three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 1 and the forward will get to play for his former coach and his former hockey idol.
Condra, 28, played for Lightning coach Jon Cooper when he was with the Texarkana Bandits of the North American Hockey League in 2003-04 and grew up in Michigan as a Detroit Red Wings fan. His favorite player was Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.
"I think [Cooper] gets his players to play and go through walls for him," Condra told the Lightning website on Wednesday after participating in the LightningMade youth hockey camp. "He's a players' coach and guys like to play for him.
"[Cooper and Yzerman] are professionals and I'm sure it'll be all business. We're in this business to win hockey games and whatever it takes to do that, we will do."
Condra had nine goals and 23 points in 68 games with the Ottawa Senators last season. He has 33 goals and 87 points in 299 NHL games over five seasons and saw time on the penalty kill.
"I take pride in that," Condra said. "In Ottawa, I was one of the mainstays in the penalty kill and any way I can help, blocking shots or getting it out, I take pride in playing on the penalty kill."
Condra said he chose to sign with the Lightning because of their talent. Their run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games, played a big factor.
"They have a great movement coming along," Condra said. "They have young guys who are fast and can play the game. It seems like a great organization. From what I can tell, it's top-notch everywhere."
Condra said he feels he will fit in with the Lightning's because of his ability to play different roles.
"I think I'm an up-tempo player," he said. "I can play at high speeds and I can play up and down the ice. I can play a defensive role and I can also help in and chip in offensively sometimes."