|Senators forward Jesse Winchester smiles as he talks with some youngsters at the Ottawa Senators Hockey Camp earlier today at the Bell Sensplex (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club). |
intends to stay true to his humble hockey roots.
Even with a new two-year contract now in hand, the Ottawa Senators forward hasn't forgotten what got him to this point. It's the same thing, Winchester believes, that will be the key to potentially earning "a more expanded role" with the team in the 2010-11 season.
"I'm always looking to get better and improve on what I did the year before," Winchester said following a guest appearance at the Ottawa Senators Hockey Camps at the Bell Sensplex earlier today. "I want to keep improving and be more effective in the role that I'm in. If I have to a chance to move up (to a more promiment spot) I'll embrace it, but I know what I have to do to be an effective player."
As always, the foundation of Winchester's game is a solid work ethic. It's what turned him into a player who went undrafted by Ontario Hockey League teams into a physical forward who found himself seeing major ice time during the marathon triple overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins that allowed the Senators to stave off elimination for a few more days.
"Be more consistent," Winchester said when asked about his goals for the season ahead. "I've got to continue working hard, focus on penalty killing and bring a physical presence a little more consistently."
"I'm always looking to get better and improve on what I did the year before. I want to keep improving and be more effective in the role that I'm in. If I have to a chance to move up (to a more promiment spot) I'll embrace it, but I know what I have to do to be an effective player." - Jesse Winchester
If Winchester needed any reminder about the joys of the game, he got plenty of reminders at the Sensplex. The native of nearby Long Sault, Ont., wore an almost constant grin on his face as he spent some time working with campers as young as three years old.
"It's fun to see kids beginning the game ... and just enjoying being out on the ice," said Winchester, who also helped out with the annual Mike Fisher Hockey Camp in Orleans last week. "It's pretty special for a lot of them. This stuff reminds me of playing hockey on the ponds with my buddies. My dad made a rink for me in the backyard and it went from pushing the chair around (while learning to skate) to just having fun and enjoying the stuff like out here."
Nothing, however, could top the moment that arrived on July 1, when he signed another contract with the Senators.
"It was the highlight of my summer," said Winchester. "I love being in Ottawa. I have such a great network of friends and family who support me at each and every game. To be able to come back and be with the boys here in such a great city ... I couldn't be more thankful or more happy."