Senators forward Clarke MacArthur offered his thoughts on the team ahead during the first day of training camp. Here's what he had to say...
On Ryan and Methot's negotiations becoming distractions:
I don't think so, for those guys, that's the business part of it. I was lucky enough to sweep under the carpet without anyone knowing. For them it's about getting things done. They're both key players on our hockey team, guys that people look up to and they lead by example. It's just a matter of both sides getting comfortable with a number and hopefully that gets done.
On committing to Ottawa:
I like the group, I like the style of play, I like the way things were laid out last year. Missing the playoffs last year was probably the only disappointing thing for me, every other aspect I really enjoyed. It was easy enough for me. I had my year-end meetings and I was already thinking I wanted to stay. I wasn't really up for rolling the dice in the last year. It worked out great for me. I'm really excited to be sticking around.
On being away for five months:
You're fresh — you better be fresh by now. It's nice to get back and see everybody. I feel like the hard work is coming ahead here, that's kind of when you get back together as a team. Mac's going to put us through some tough skates I'm sure. It's just good getting back and getting together as a team again.
On the importance of the improving the work ethic:
It's the only way we're going to have success. There were a lot of guys who did good things playing both ways and the more guys we can grab every year doing that, we're going to be fine. I've said before, we're got going to be a team that's going to have a 90 or 80 point guy, but I like to look at Boston, LA, there's lots of teams that have two or three lines and the top guy has 50-something points. You just be a hard team to play against and win games just as easily that way.
On getting on the same page being the first goal:
Absolutely. Goal number two is keeping the puck out of our net. From the blueline in we all need to be more responsible. Sometimes you have to play a little more boring hockey and gets pucks out and skate on to them. We have a lot of good skaters on this team, young guys that have lots of jump in their step, that's more of style we're going to have to play.
On coming into camp with the certainty of a long-term contract:
Just because you get a long-term deal doesn't mean you're sticking around so I've got a lot of work to do on a day-to-day basis to stay. That's the best part of the game is coming in and earning your keep every day.
On the pre-season projections for the team:
It's hard to (pay attention) because last year they had us in and that didn't work out. When I was in Toronto we were pegged for 14th or 15th and ended up getting in. Obviously you're going to read it or see it but in my mind it doesn't have any effect.