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Clarke MacArthur on his extension

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Sens forward Clarke MacArthur spoke to the media on Wednesday after it was announced earlier this week that he had agreed to terms on a five-year extension with the hockey club.

Here's what he had to say...

On the process to get to the extension:

We kind of talked about it at the end of the year during my year end meeting with Bryan, we touched on maybe doing the extension and he kind of asked me if Ottawa was something I enjoyed and if I'd be willing to do that and I said yes. As far as the negotiations went it was kind of off and on for a couple of weeks going through years and term and stuff like that. I couldn't be happier to get it done yesterday and get it out of the way before camp.

On what made Ottawa the place he wanted to stay:

I just think my wife and I really liked it. The people, the organization, a lot of things go into the team. I thought it was a good group of guys. Obviously last year wasn't what we were looking for but it's a young team, I still feel we're on the up and up and to get a deal of this length, it gives me a chance over the next six years to try and help make this team a winning team. I'm looking forward to that.

On the importance of the security after going through free agency:

Definitely a factor, I wouldn't lie about that. It's something where you get the deal done and you're comfortable with your surroundings. It's a place I'm happy to stay, there's no question about that. It's a place I wanted to stay, I wasn't looking to play the season out and see what was out there. I really enjoyed playing with Turris and Bobby Ryan last year and I love the potential of our team. This year is the year we've got to get back to the playoffs and all those things kind of factored into this decision.

On the chemistry with Turris:

I think Turris would click with anyone, if they want to say I'm the guy who's good with him I'll take it. He does everything well. He's a centreman with great speed, he's got a great shot, he sees the ice. As far as making things easy out there, we obviously have to keep working at it, there's things we want to improve for sure, but he's got a good attitude and he's a player willing to listen to other people's ideas. It just worked out well last year.

On selling Bobby Ryan on a long-term deal:

I may have to, obviously we want him to stay. He'd a great piece for this team to get — I mean, he's got 30 goals three or four seasons in a row — he's a player you want on your team. If I can nudge him towards staying I'm definitely going to try to. He's definitely a complement to our team.

On taking on more of a leadership role:

I would, it's one of those things where if they want me to wear a letter I'll wear a letter. If not I'm going to go about my business the same way. I didn't wear one last year and I think we have four or five guys with Turris and Smitty and Milo and Philly, Karl — we have guys in the room that do a little talking. I think we all need to chip in that way, I don't think it really matters who wears the letters. I definitely won't lose any sleep over it. As long as we have that core group of pulling everyone in the right direction we'll be in good shape.

On the fan reaction to his signing:

I was checking it out last night and my mom was sending me some articles and stuff like that. As far as the fanbase in Ottawa, they've treated me so good. I've only been there a year obviously but everyone welcomed me in and I don't think anyone really knew what kind of player I could be at the start. As I got more comfortable I think everyone did as well. I really enjoyed playing in front of the fans in Ottawa.

On if the contract changes the pressure:

I think when I was in Toronto I came off of a million dollar contract and ended up taking two years at $6.5 million and that was big money for me at the time and you feel a little bit of the pressure. I think that now I want to come in and — just because I got a five-year deal doesn't mean I have to change a whole lot. I want to play the same game, I want to play good at both ends. I feel like if we work hard in our own end and backcheck hard the offensive opportunities just come. Playing with offensive players, things are going to happen. It's more about defending. I just feel like we don't need to be a team that has 90 point players. If you look at the Bruins or other well balanced teams, their top scorers have 50 or 60 points and it seems to work good for them. As far as what I need to do on the ice, I want to do similar to last year — obviously we want a better result — but for myself I want to try and bring a similar game every night.

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