Paddock spells it out

New Senators coach John Paddock has high expectations for his players this season. (Sun File/John...

New Senators coach John Paddock has high expectations for his players this season. (Sun File/John Woods)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

KITCHENER -- New Senators coach John Paddock has a simple message for players: Be ready.

Paddock, who was promoted from assistant by GM Bryan Murray in July, called each player during the summer and told them to come to training camp prepared for another run at the Stanley Cup.

"The underlying part of (the phone call to each player) was: Just prepare. Don't take any more than a little bit of time off to prepare and get ready for training camp," said Paddock.

"There's always things that are done a little bit different with a different coach, but there's no big philosophy change here. I told them to come ready to play. It was just a reminder that I expect them to come to training camp hungry after where they've been. The quest to get to June starts in training camp. You don't win the Stanley Cup in October, but you prepare to win it once camp starts. That's the preparation for it. There's lumps and bumps, but that's when it starts."

In a wide-ranging interview with the Sun yesterday at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Paddock also said he met with defenceman Wade Redden at the end of the season and told him more was expected.

Redden, the club's assistant captain, had a mediocre year, was subpar in the playoffs and balked at a request to waive his no-trade clause to accept a deal to the Oilers in the off-season.

REDDEN HEARS IT

"He's just got to play better. There's a higher level expected there," said Paddock. "He needs to come to camp in better shape and play better from the start.

"I met with (Redden) before he left, actually before I was named coach because I knew it was going to happen, and we talked about expectations. He's not a dumb guy. He's a heck of a player and he knows he didn't play as well as he could. We expect a higher level from him."

Redden's defence partner, Andrej Meszaros, was also given a frank assessment by Paddock.

"It's a team thing, but those two (Redden and Meszaros) are key parts of our hockey team. To think that we could have the level of success that we had last year, if they play the same way they did, we'd probably be dreaming," said Paddock.

One area Paddock is going to be focused on is trying to put together two scoring lines, which means captain Daniel Alfredsson won't start training camp on the right side of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley.

POTENTIAL LINEMATES

Patrick Eaves, Antoine Vermette and rookie Nick Foligno will likely all get a chance to play alongside the Seanators' dynamic duo.

There's also a chance Heatley, who had 50 goals and 55 assists last season, could be moved to the right side.

"I probably don't play with lines on paper as much (as Murray did), but I play with them in my mind. That's what a coach does," said Paddock. "I'm sure there's going to be times when (Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson) will play together. I'm not sure of the lines. I see our forwards as being pretty flexible.

"Vermette, Chris (Kelly) and Dean (McAmmond) can play centre or wing. There's going to be little bits of fooling with the lines a little bit more. Nothing is written in stone that Spezza and Heatley have to play together. Ninety-five percent of the time they will, but my philosophy is if something isn't working, change it.

"I don't wait a little while to change it. I'll make a change during a game."


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