Entering his 9th training camp with the Senators, Jean-Gabriel Pageau continues to see his role evolve in Ottawa.
To kick off camp yesterday, Sens head coach D.J. Smith named the team's three alternate captains for the 2019-20 season which included the 26-year-old centre Ottawa-native.
"It's something that I'm really proud of. I've been here for the good years and the tough years and I've learned a lot from the past," said Pageau about the accomplishment. "I remember when I first came in there were some older guys that were here to show us the right way. I tried to learn as much as I could from them and now I'm in that position and ready to take on that role."
Along with Pageau, both Mark Borowiecki and Ron Hainsey were given As on their jerseys for this upcoming season and Pageau is excited to work with the pair of defencemen to offer up some veteran leadership for a young Senators team.
"Boro and I came up together through the Ottawa organization and he was a really good leader when I first started in the American League. He's very good in the room and has an unbelievable work ethic so it's important to have guys like that," Pageau shared. "And Hainsey has won a Stanley Cup, played over 1,000 games and he's seen it all I'm sure. It's a good group and I'm glad to be a part of it."
With their medicals, testing and media obligations fulfilled yesterday, Pageau and his teammates welcomed today's shift to the on ice portions of training camp this morning that saw three groups skate at Canadian Tire Centre.
"It was a really hard pace out there. The first day on the ice is always the hardest because everyone is working so hard to make a positive impression right away," he said. "I really liked the work ethic so far, that's something I'm sure will be in our game plan every night."
Fans will have an opportunity to take in a few of these skates in person tomorrow at Fan Fest for free which will be headlined by an intra-squad scrimmage at 11:50 a.m.
"Everyone is excited that hockey's back and from meeting fans in Ottawa at events or just in public, they seem ready for a fresh start," said Pageau. "They want to see all the young guys on their way up and how that might impact the team this season so having them come out to Fan Fest tomorrow is a great way to kick off our year."
For more information on Sens Fan Fest, including a list of events and schedule, click here.