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A Sens TV EXCLUSIVE with... Erik Karlsson

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

With the end of August in sight, Sens players are beginning to trickle back to Ottawa and the Canadian Tire Centre to get prepped for the 2013-14 season. Among those making their first appearance of the summer was Erik Karlsson who is back in town after a summer at home in Sweden.

Sens TV caught up with Erik for an exclusive interview. Here's what he had to say...

On his summer:

I would say I had a great summer. The weather has been great in Sweden — I spent most of my time there — I took a short trip to Rome and a short trip to Ibiza. That's pretty much it. Other than that I've been staying home, working out, seeing friends and family and trying to relax as much as possible.

On his health:

I feel pretty good — I feel really good, actually — I was a little bit concerned in the beginning of the summer but all that is gone right now. I can do most of the stuff that I did last summer and I've been working out normally and putting some extra focus on getting the foot back to shape. As of right now I have no concerns that once training camp starts there will be no problems at all.

On his workout focus:

Just normal stuff, I think. I haven't been doing rehab so to speak, I think I've been doing some extra focus on getting the touch back in the foot and getting the connection back there. It's been paying off I think. I've been trying to act as normal as possible and just doing the regular stuff and it gets better every day.

On gym time vs. ice time:

I've spent some time on the ice. I don't think I needed to skate as much as I did, but it's feeling good and right now I skate almost as good as I used to. It's early in the season now so it's tough to say, but I will have no issues on the ice.

On the changes in Ottawa:

Obviously it has been a different kind offseason for us. We lost a few guys — obviously we lost Alfie, which is never any fun — but we also gained Bobby Ryan. He's a great player and he's probably going to help us become a better team. Same thing with MacArthur and Corvo. This team should be a better team than we were last year. It makes you feel even more excited about starting.

On the leadership core:

When you look around the room we have some guys that have been around for a while. I don't see that being an issue at all. Alfie is 41, he can't be here forever. This would have happened anyway even if he quit or if he kept playing on another team, which he did. I think most of the guys are ready for that commitment and everybody in here is excited for the new season and moving forward.

On his relationship with Alfie:

On a personal level it's going to be tough, I'm going to miss him a lot. We developed a close friendship and spent a lot of time together during the season and after the season. For me it's going to be a bit of a change but at the same time, I knew this was going to happen at some point. I'm going to have to, unfortunately, hang out more with Spezza and the other guys.

On the 2013-14 season:

Over the last couple of weeks it's been really creeping up on you that it's time to go soon. I'm really excited to be able to play hockey again considering what happened last season and my motivation has never been better.

On his personal goals:

Just take it as it comes. It's all about going further than we did last year. We went to the second round and this year we want to be a better team. If we can be a better team hopefully I can be a better player.

On where you should vacation:

I would say Rome. I knew it was going to be good, but I was still a little bit surprised at how beautiful all the buildings are and how the city is. The food there is probably the best I've had my whole life.

On Turris' wedding:

It was good. It was nice to see some of the guys, it was a big day for them. Everything was very, very nice. They did a great job with everything from the church to the reception to the dinner and the party after.

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