Swede and sour Sens

Daniel Alfredsson is reveling in the opportunity to show off his town to his teammates. (Sun...

Daniel Alfredsson is reveling in the opportunity to show off his town to his teammates. (Sun Media/Chris Stevenson)

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN -- Daniel Alfredsson is having the time of his life these days.

Christoph Schubert? Not so much.

The pair were a contrast in emotions yesterday as the Senators continued to make preparations for tomorrow night's final exhibition game against Alfredsson's old club team, the Frolunda Indians, and the opening of the regular season with games Saturday and Sunday in Stockholm against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Alfredsson is reveling in the opportunity to show off his town -- which he's bragged up for years -- to his teammates. They went on a boat tour yesterday afternoon.

"I'm still having fun. It's kind of surreal, a little bit," said Alfredsson, who was honoured by his old club Monday night with a unique tribute: One of the pillars in the rink was dedicated to his career with Frolunda. "Being here with Ottawa and Frolunda is there practising as well, riding the bikes. It's kind of neat.

"It's a hockey highlight, for sure. I'm trying to suck it all in because I know time is going to go extremely fast. At the same time, I know we start the season here Saturday. When we're at the rink, it's work, but out of the rink, I'm going to enjoy it for sure."

Alfredsson said the legwork he did before coming over here Monday has paid off. He took care of 60 ticket requests before he left and he's been getting help from family members -- particularly brother Henrik, an Ottawa cop who's here -- dealing with the demands of being host.

NOT STRESS OUT

"I have set aside a certain timeframe so I can relax and not stress out too much. I did all the ticket requests before I came. I'm not the most organized person normally, but I've done a good job for this trip," he said.

Yesterday's time at the rink wasn't pleasant for Schubert after he showed up wearing a white sweater, representing a move from defence -- his preferred position -- to fourth-line forward.

"You've got a story today, boys," he said as he made his way onto the ice for practice. He didn't stick around to discuss the change with media after practice, but Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said Schubert wasn't happy.

"It's where we think he fits best after camp," said Hartsburg of the shift. "He came into camp trying to prove to us he was going to be a full-time defenceman. He's disappointed and I understand that. He's on our team to play a role and to contribute and he understands that.

"I'm not saying that every player likes the role they're put in, but at the end of the day they have to accept it and do their best to help the hockey team."

Schubert, who needs to work on moving the puck to be a full-time NHL defenceman, will still likely still see time on defence on the second power-play unit and killing penalties.

Senators GM Bryan Murray said Schubert's ability to play both positions makes him valuable. His strong skating and size makes him an effective forechecker who was 17th in the NHL in hits last season -- playing mostly up front -- and third on the Senators behind Chris Neil and Mike Fisher.

"Right now we have seven 'D' in what I think are proper order. At the moment, he didn't fit there," said Murray. "Craig talked to him yesterday about it and I don't know that Schubie isn't totally happy, which is fine. I told (Hartsburg) when he played up front last year, he was a very effective player.

"He doesn't see (playing both forward and defence) as a real advantage to his career, but we see him as a guy who can fill a role," said Murray, adding he liked the bonus of being able to shift Schubert back to defence if the club had a defenceman hurt during a game or ran into penalty trouble.

"He's a dual-purpose guy that, within games, is very important."


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