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Jason Spezza on becoming captain

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The biggest news of the day in the world of Ottawa Senators hockey is, without a doubt, the unveiling of Jason Spezza as the team's newest captain. Spezza becomes the eighth individual player to wear the captain's 'C' in the franchise's history.

Spezza spoke today about the new honour at a press conference to announce his assumption of the team's captaincy.

Here's what he had to say...

On how his responsibilities change as a captain:

I feel comfortable because I feel like I've really taken leadership on the last few years. Obviously now being the captain you're looked at every day, you're expected to answer the tough questions and you're expected to be an example every day, but these are things I think I've tried to do along the way and something I think I've matured into. It's maybe not as scary as it would have been but it's definitely a challenge and I'm excited.

On if a captain's wife take on a similar role:

I think my wife has always been good with the other girls and tries to be really supportive, but yeah, she understands that a lot of the girls need direction too when they come into town. You'd have to talk to the other girls but I think she enjoys being in that role as well.

On if he is going to have a greater public life:

I don't think it'll change me who I am as a person. I enjoy my family life to be a little more private, but I enjoy doing stuff in the community, I've done a lot of stuff in the past quietly. For me I don't feel like I have to change a lot. I love being in Ottawa, I always have, I really enjoy the community, I try to get out and really experience the city when we have days off. I don't think that'll change too much.

On what he learned from Alfie:

Alfie has always been a very calm guy, he's a very clear thinker, he practiced really hard when he practiced, he was always looking for input on how he could do a better job. Those are all strong qualities. Now I kind of get a chance to put my stamp on things.

On what's most difficult about being captain:

I think just pushing yourself daily to make sure you're showing guys the right way and really getting better every day and making your team better. There's going to be good days and there's going to be bad days and as captain you have to make sure that there's going to be more good days than bad.

On what his stamp will be:

I don't think it's going to change, but I'm big on team, I'm big on the guys getting along really well, I'm big on guys including each other, I'm big on everybody having a voice. I've always been that way. I try to make myself pretty accessible in the dressing room, there's times during the year when different guys want to talk about different things and I think it's important for every body to have a voice. I'll continue to do that and hopefully take our team to the next level.

On the significance of the honour for his career:

It's definitely nice to get the recognition to become a captain, I've made a conscious effort to become more of a leader. I think I've come by it more naturally over the last few years and I'm excited. Coming full circle would probably be winning a Stanley Cup and hopefully we have a chance to do that.

On the personal significance of the letter:

I think it'll just add more excitement to things. I was pretty excited about the season as is, I didn't play last year and I'm healthy right now and excited and now to be named captain gives me something more to be excited about. It's not going to change — I'm not going to go home tonight and think about changes I need to make and how I carry myself around the arena — but you definitely have to be more cognizant of things around you and there's a pressure of being good every day and pushing yourself every day and being an example.

On his growth as a leader:

I like to think I come by it naturally. I want to help the guys out. When I was out last year I felt bad that I couldn't help them on the ice so I wanted to be around and see what guys were up to off the ice and make sure everybody was comfortable. They were playing so well that I just wanted to find a way to contribute and I think that I was doing that (being involved during his injury) not for show or to prove anything to anybody, but just because I felt like it was the right thing to do. I hope that guys liked having me around there last year when I wasn't playing and I'm sure they did.

On if the 'C' means anything different going forward:

I think you just continue to progress as a person and player and you move forward. I think that I'm getting the opportunity now to be a captain, I think the biggest thing is I have to be cognizant that I have to be good every day, I have to practice every day and make sure guys are all on the same page. You get looked upon. When you're the captain you have to make decisions sometimes and you have to make sure everybody's feeling good about their game and feeling good where they are and just being accessible. It changes a little bit but not too much.

Here's the unveil press conference courtesy of Sens TV:

Here's Jason's media availability, also courtesy of Sens TV:

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