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Arnason, Morrison excited to be in Ottawa

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler, right, and assistant GM Peter Chiarelli, watch their new acquisitions practice on Monday at the Bell Sensplex. Photo: OSHC

by Todd Anderson

For the first time since being acquired by the Ottawa Senators on March 9, centre Tyler Arnason and goaltender Mike Morrison practised in Ottawa today. After the practice, which was held at the Bell Sensplex, they spoke about their first impressions of their new team and home city.

"This is definitely new for me, to be in the playoffs and be with a contender," said Arnason, who was traded to Ottawa just minutes before the NHL deadline by the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Bochenski and a second-round draft pick. "(Ottawa) seems to be a lot like Winnipeg, so this will be like home."

Morrison, who was put on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers on March 8 and picked up by Ottawa the following day, is thrilled to have a chance to show his stuff with the Senators.

"I'm very excited. It was kind of a whirlwind 24 hours. When I got the call from Mr. (Senators GM John) Muckler, I was ecstatic. I've done the (minors) thing and I appreciate how quickly things can change. I just want to work hard, and stay in this league as much as I can."

Arnason, who was born in Oklahoma City, Okla., but grew up in Winnipeg from the age one to 18, joined a line with veterans Daniel Alfredsson and Bryan Smolinski on March 10 against the Atlanta Thrashers. He quickly picked up a point in his first Ottawa game, assisting Bryan Smolinski's goal five minutes into a 3-1 win.

Smolinski, who recalled his first days in Ottawa after he was traded here in March, 2003, spoke about the debut of Arnason.

"It's always an adjustment, and for him, it was big because it was his first trade. He's groomed in nicely and I'm excited to play with him and Daniel."

Said Alfredsson, "He's smart with the puck. He's a play-making centre and a guy who will stretch the rush. Chemistry is something that will take time, but when the team is winning, that buys you time."

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