|Martin Gerber speaks with Senators strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee during loaded step-up exercises. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Martin Gerber made his first appearance at Scotiabank Place today since being signed as a free agent by Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler on July 1.
Arriving in Ottawa on Wednesday, Gerber worked out with strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee through a series of conditioning exercises today. The star goaltender is excited about joining his new team.
"It's awesome," Gerber said during a break from the workout. "This is a great organization and it has always been a dream for me to play for a Canadian team, especially Ottawa. This is one of the best teams in the league."
Gerber expects to join a group of Senators players for an on-ice workout tomorrow at the Bell Sensplex in Kanata, Ont. His new teammates will probably quickly notice a team-first attitude from the native of Burgdorf, Switzerland.
"I want to be a part of the success this team experiences," Gerber says. "I want for us to go as far as possible."
The 32-year-old started his career with the Anaheim Ducks during the 2002-03 season. It was current Senators head coach Bryan Murray - who held the position of Ducks general manager at the time - who signed Gerber to his first NHL contract. Gerber appreciates the opportunity to associate himself with Murray again.
"He's a real classy guy. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a guy who can be tough as a GM or coach, but the guys like him a lot. He was part of my decision for coming here."
Gerber brings to Ottawa his experience as a Stanley Cup champion last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He smiles when looking back at the on-ice celebrations with the Cup.
"It took a while to realize it," Gerber says of winning the prized trophy. "The game is over and all of the sudden you have the Cup in your hands. You need time for it to soak in. You dream a lot about it and you do everything for it. Then you have it."
So does winning the Stanley Cup once make you want to win it again even more?
"For sure," Gerber says. "It's the best feeling in hockey."
Visit ottawasenators.com's photo gallery for images from Gerber's first day in Ottawa.