Coach eager to mix new and old

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Craig Hartsburg likes the new-look Senators.

There will be plenty of familiar faces back next season, but the Senators coach is happy GM Bryan Murray has added defenceman Jason Smith, winger Jarkko Ruutu and goalie Alex Auld to the team.

CORE IN PLACE

While the core of the team -- Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher, Chris Phillips, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Antoine Vermette, Anton Volchenkov and possibly Andrej Meszaros -- will be back, Hartsburg is pleased with what Smith, Ruutu and Auld bring to the table.

"I certainly am (pleased). After the last year, after the discussions I've had with (Murray) since getting hired, the thing that had to be adjusted was the character," said Hartsburg. "I don't want to say this team is going in a totally different direction, but we've added some things that may not show up on the scoresheet.

"I'm excited about Jason Smith and adding Ruutu to our lineup. We've added good people."

'GREAT PLAYERS'

"We've got great players on our team. You don't win in any league unless you've got character and we've added some really good people in that area," he said. "Bryan helped by adding people that will believe in the team and that's the values and principles that the coaching staff believes."

Sens sign goalie

The Senators signed G Mike O'Keefe, an Almonte native who played for Ferris State last season, to a one-year deal yesterday.

O'Keefe, 24, closed out his college career with the Bulldogs of the Central College Hockey Association with a 10-8-5 record, 2.28 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage last season. He was named the club's MVP.

The Senators need some goaltending depth in their system. It's expected that O'Keefe, who played one AHL game with the Iowa Stars at the end of last season, will battle Brian Elliott and Jeff Glass for a job with the club's minor-league affiliate in Binghamton.


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