by Todd Anderson
It's the day fans in Hockey Country have been waiting for. The Ottawa Senators' 2006 training camp finally starts tomorrow at Scotiabank Place. The camp schedule and 47-man roster at training camp were both announced yesterday.
Head coach Bryan Murray and general manager John Muckler both have a pretty good idea of what the opening day starting lineup should look like, but they're not going to limit the opportunity for anyone in training camp.
"The players are coming in and are going to compete for jobs," Murray said prior to teeing off during the Bell/Senators Golf Classic at The Marshes on Wednesday. "The players will sort out where they fit in. Some guys will see two to three (pre-season games), while others will play in five or six. We'll move people around in camp to evaluate where they fit in and who they play well with."
Muckler spoke about the new makeup of the team after a series of off-season moves that he made.
"We're going to be a faster hockey club. We added two right-handed defencemen and now we have a lot of people who can play the point on the power play. I think we're going to be very exciting."
Highly touted prospect Alexei Kaigorodov, who agreed to terms on a two-year entry-level contract with the Senators yesterday, will be among the players in camp. Murray is excited to see the centreman in action.
"We're going to put him with a good player (at camp) to get him accustomed," Murray said of the Russian native. "I know he's a skilled kid. He played at the highest level in Russia and he should have a good chance of making the team, and be a helpful player."
Tomorrow's first day of camp includes physicals, medical testing, individual photo shoots and an on-ice testing session. The camp runs until Oct. 1 and will be held at both Scotiabank Place and the Bell Sensplex in Kanata, Ont. The players will be broken down into two groups during the camp.
Fans will be able to see the players in action at Senators Fan Fest this Sunday during the annual Red and White Intra-Squad Game. The event presented by the Ottawa Citizen, TEAM 1200 and A-Channel will launch the club's 15th season in the NHL. Fan Fest also features the GM Sens Street Tour, the Senators equipment sale, and free handouts and entertainment throughout Scotiabank Place.