|McGrattan, left, celebrates with Wade Redden after scoring his first NHL goal against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 19, 2005. Photo: A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Senators sophomore forward Brian McGrattan is back on the ice in Ottawa preparing for his second NHL season. This past week McGrattan, along with Senators Daniel Alfredsson, Wade Redden, Denis Hamel and a host of other NHL players have been working out at the Bell Sensplex in preparation of upcoming NHL training camps.
"I've been skating the last two weeks," McGrattan said on Tuesday in between on-ice sessions. "I got here early last year too and it helped a lot. You get out here and it's quick passes, it's pretty high-tempo and it gives you two hours to work on fundamentals before you go workout in the gym."
While McGrattan, 24, continues to strive to become the best player he can be, he also made sure to enjoy some time away from the rink and gym this summer. The 6'5", 238-pound forward and his younger brother Daryl, 22, traveled to Europe for a vacation that lasted two-and-a-half weeks.
"We went to London, to Paris, to Rome and Barcelona - we had a great time sight-seeing," McGrattan says. "I went to Europe when I was 15 but I didn't get to see much because I was there for hockey. To experience the culture was a lot of fun."
Among the highlights during the trip that lasted from July 5 to 24 were stops at Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum.
While on vacation, McGrattan missed some of the action this off-season as general manager John Muckler was busy putting together a different look to the team. McGrattan is excited to meet his new teammates.
"I think the new guys are going to help a lot and I'm looking forward to (the season) again," McGrattan says. "Last year, I have to say, those were the best guys I have ever played with. Everyone got along so well. I'm looking forward to this year and hopefully we can finish a bit better."