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Chris Neil on his summer

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Sens forward Chris Neil met with the media at Bell Sensplex today as part of his visit to the Sens Summer Camps in Kanata. Chris talks about his visit to the camps and day with the kids as well as some summer fun with Sens TV. Take a look...

Here's what he had to say about his offseason and the team heading into 2014-15...

On his summer:

It has been good so far. Obviously you let the body heal after the season and get back into training to get ready for next season. We always have young guys coming up and trying to get jobs so you've got to work that much harder every year. For me it's basically maintaining and getting in the best shape I can possibly be in.

On the length of the offseason and his training:

For me it's basically the same. I usually take a couple of weeks off right after and then get back into it so it doesn't matter when you end it's the same routine. It's just keeping that routine and staying loyal to it, coming in and working your hardest.

On the changes of the offseason:

There have been some big changes and it's tough to see a guy like Jason go being with him his whole career and being apart of the Senators that long, he has been a great teammate and a great friend as well. It's tough to see guys like that go, it's the same as when Mike Fisher left as well. I think the last couple of years we've had some changes with Alfie being gone as well so it's how you adapt to it. I've always said it's an opportunity for other guys to step up and do stuff, whether it's a young guy or a new guy we bring in I think that's important. It gives an opportunity for other guys.

On the group heading into the year:

It was a disappointing year last year as far as everything. The previous year we made a little noise in the playoffs and got to the second round and I think if you're not making the playoffs it's a disappointing year. I think that's where we've got to have our focus is getting back to there. I look back to three years ago when we made all the changes, everyone picked us to be last and there was no expectation or pressure on us. You look at some of the panels or experts, they've got us picked there again. For the group of guys we've got in there, we've all got something to prove and we thrive off that stuff.

On if his role will change with Spezza's departure:

My role hasn't changed in the last four or five years. How I approach the game, my work ethic, that's how you lead by example. For me it's no different than last year or the year before, I've got to show up and I can hold guys accountable if I'm doing it right myself. That's what I've always said. That's one thing I've learned from Alfie, he showed up every game and he was always one of the hardest working players out there. When he asked you to do something you've got to do it because he's doing it right. That's really important and one thing I take pride in is my work ethic and I think for me if I'm doing it right I expect the other guys to do it right.

On players wearing letters:

We don't really worry about that kind of stuff. We've always said, the older guys in the room, it doesn't matter if you have a letter or not. We have guys in there that lead, you just go down the list of guys that don't have a letter and they lead as much as other guys. It doesn't matter, everyone can lead in their own way and we expect everyone to step up in that role. It doesn't matter if you're a first year or a 10 year. We expect everyone to contribute. You don't have to be vocal, it's how you perform, how you lead on the ice and how you conduct yourself. For us, that's what we expect and guys that have a letter on just need to make sure other guys are buying into it.

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