by Todd Anderson
Speaking during a conference call from Edmonton, where his former Phoenix Coyotes teammates were preparing to play the Oilers tonight, the Ottawa Senators' newest member, Oleg Saprykin, spoke about the excitement of joining his new team.
"It's great to go to Ottawa," the 26-year-old left-winger said. "It's good that everybody there expects to play in the finals of the Stanley Cup. I was a little surprised to be traded, but it's great to go to a team going into the playoffs."
Saprykin will fly to Ottawa tonight and will go through medical testing in the morning. He's expected to be in the lineup tomorrow night when the Senators host the Carolina Hurricanes in the second game of a home-and-home series.
Senators general manager John Muckler spoke about what Saprykin brings to the lineup.
"This is a person with lots of energy who's having the best year he's had in the NHL. He competes every night, he's aggressive and he's been in the Stanley Cup finals with Calgary (2004). He's kind of like a utility player in baseball. That's what this organization needs a player who can make changes to fit the needs of the coach and the team."
Saprykin agrees with that statement. He's willing to do whatever it takes to enjoy post-season success once again.
"It's a different game. It's faster, it's a great feeling. I hope we do that again, that's the goal of everyone in Ottawa.
"It doesn't matter where you play in the playoffs. It's just about winning games together. I've played on the first line, the third line, you just try to do your best on the ice and help the team win."
Coupled with the addition of defenceman Lawrence Nycholat on Friday from the Washington Capitals, Muckler is now satisfied with his lineup going forward.
"I didn't think we needed to make a big splash, we already did that when we got (Mike) Comrie. We have the depth in our organization now if somebody gets hurt. We were a good hockey club before the trade deadline, I think we're a little better now."