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Sens name Erik Karlsson captain

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators have named defenceman Erik Karlsson the ninth captain in team history. Here's what Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Karlsson had to say about the announcement...

Mr. Melnyk:

Here in Ottawa I think our hockey team is fortunate to have a good mix of young talent and stable, experienced veteran leadership. The core of the veteran leadership we have here in Ottawa is not only exceptional, but undeniably key to our team's success. That leadership group knows fully well what is expected of them over the coming season. After numerous discussions with Paul and Bryan, there was collective agreement that the team was ready to move forward under the overall leadership of a player we drafted as an 18-year-old in 2008. This player has quickly evolved to become one of the elite players in the National Hockey League. His growth as a player is only surpassed by his growth off the ice. He has consistently shown his commitment to our fans, to our community and has become a great ambassador for the hockey team and the city of Ottawa. On behalf of Bryan, Paul and our coaching staff it is my great pleasure to officially announce and introduce Erik Karlsson as the ninth captain of the Ottawa Senators. Congratulations, Erik.

Erik Karlsson:

I first off would like to thank the whole organization. Since I've been drafted they've given me every opportunity to become the player I am today and I don't think I could have done it anywhere else. Another thing I would like to address is the teammates I've had over the years and especially the ones I have now, they have helped me become the player I am today. I've been very fortunate to be around guys like Chris Phillips, Chris Neil, Jason Spezza and my fellow Swede Daniel Alfredsson as well. That's one of the main reasons I'm standing here today being able to do what I do. I've been nothing more than pleased since I got the city of Ottawa as well, moving here as a 19-year-old I'd say I've spent my whole adult life in this city and it's something I've come to embrace and love. I'm looking forward to spending more time here and taking this community into my heart even more and to come to live here over the years. I'm a little bit nervous actually, I don't really know what to say. It's a good feeling. It's an honour to be a captain of a Canadian team and it's not something I could have hoped for when I came here, but I embrace it and am very much looking forward to the responsibilities to come. I am, right now, a very, very happy guy and I look forward to the upcoming season and beyond that. It feels like the team is moving in the right direction, it feels like we have all the pieces we need to become an elite team, a winning team. Over my five years we've had ups and downs, but I think that's normal and it feels like with the core group we have and the young guys coming up we're one of those teams that's going to move forward quickly and hopefully in a number of years to come, a Stanley Cup champion. That's what we all play for and I feel we have everything we need to become that. I'm very excited to be a big part of this organization and this community. I know I'll have great help along the way and mostly we're really excited for what's to come.

Karlsson spoke to media in a scrum following today's announcement. Footage comes courtesy of Sens TV...

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