New Dean on Sens campus

Newest Senator forward Dean McAmmond promises to bring plenty of speed to Ottawa. (File Photo)

Newest Senator forward Dean McAmmond promises to bring plenty of speed to Ottawa. (File Photo)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The newest Senator certainly talks a great game.

"(I'm) one of the fastest (skaters), as you will see," Dean McAmmond stated yesterday after signing a one-year contract with Ottawa as an unrestricted free agent.

He also spoke of his versatility to line up at either left wing or centre, his ability to play a physical style, and his "very sound" defensive zone coverage.

"As far as offence, I can move the puck well," added McAmmond. "I try to complement the players around me.

"It won't be hard to find a place for me."

Senators GM John Muckler -- who also signed Rockland centre Serge Payer for depth yesterday --made his last big off-season splash by bringing in McAmmond, a 13-year NHL veteran who has 364 points (150 goals) and 386 penalty minutes through 723 regular season games.

That McAmmond has only played in 19 playoff games (scoring once) speaks to the fact that most of his career has been spent with Edmonton and Calgary (before they were good) and Chicago.

He is coming off a 15-goal, 22-assist season with St. Louis.

"We kind of signed him as a player who can play anywhere from the first to the fourth line," said Muckler. "He's a guy that can be a tremendous help to us. He's a veteran player with a young hockey club ... which is something the media here felt very strongly about ... and he will help us in that area."

McAmmond was nearly dealt back to the Oilers a couple of times last March. Such a transaction would have been a nice way to finish what was essentially a horrible season, playing for a St. Louis club that suffered through a sale, numerous injuries one of the worst records in the league.

"It's actually been a pretty quiet summer for me," said McAmmond, a 33-year-old who's from Grande Cache, Alta. "We've been watching a lot of stuff go on ... then the last three weeks to a month my agent starting talking to John.

"Ottawa's a place we thought would be a good fit. The style of play, a fast team, a skilled team, and every time I've played against them they've been well coached. It's a great organization in a good sized city ... I'm a Canadian boy and I like being back in Canada. We have four kids and I hear Ottawa is a good place for a family."

Payer, who played five games with the Senators in 2003-04, had two goals and four assists in 71 games with the Florida Panthers last season. Muckler compared him to Chris Kelly and said Payer would be "fighting for a spot" in Ottawa.

He also declared his free agent shopping done for the summer.

"I think we are ... we're pretty near the cap," said Muckler. "If we're going to add somebody now, I think it would have to be through a trade. You're always looking at that option."

ALFIE RE-ELECTED

Meanwhile, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was yesterday re-elected as an NHLPA vice-president on the interim executive committee at the annual European player meetings in Stockholm. It is a position at which he has four years experience.

Alfredsson joins Wade Redden, Kevyn Adams, Alyn McCauley, Mathieu Schneider and Marty Turco, who were previously elected as interim vice presidents July 12. "It's great that Daniel has made a commitment to continue representing his fellow players," NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin said.


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