Captain Daniel Alfredsson is ready to fly.
Fully recovered from off-season surgery to repair a pull sports hernia that hampered him the second half of last season, the Senators winger landed in Ottawa on the weekend to prepare for training camp.
With the Senators reporting for medicals on Sept. 17, Alfredsson was on the ice Tuesday for an imformal workout at the Bell Sensplex after spending most of the summer in Sweden with his family.
"I'm ready now," said Alfredsson with a wide smile.
After having the surgery done in May, Alfredsson's recovery has been much quicker than expected. He started skating a month ago.
"It feels good," said Alfredsson, who also attended last month's Hockey Summit in Toronto. "It's nice to be back with the guys.
"I usually don't go on the ice until the end of August, but because of the surgery I wanted to try and see how I felt. I wanted to start slowly and not push it right away. I probably went on two weeks earlier than I normally do. It feels like it was a good decision because I have been feeling really good."
The 37-year-old Alfredsson is confident the changes made in the off-season will mean good results for Ottawa. He likes the free-agency pickup of veteran blueliner Sergei Gonchar.
"He always looks good. He's a smooth skater and he's great with the puck. It's going to be a lot of fun to play with him," said Alfredsson, who is also represented by Gonchar's agent J.P. Barry.
"He's going to bring a dimension that we've needed. I'm happy to see him. He's going to help on the power play and 5-on-5 -- breaking the puck out of our own zone and having that shot. Not only is it hard, but he always seems to find a way to get it through. He's probably one of the best power-play quarterbacks over the last 10 years."
Despite a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alfredsson was buoyed by the way the club finished.
"I am excited. We took a big step forward last year after missing the playoffs the year before," he said. "We had some really good games in the playoffs and that makes you feel we can go with some young guys that can and will get better as time goes on.
"It looks promising and exciting to start up."
Alfredsson left for Sweden in mid-June with his wife Bibi, along with children Hugo, Louis and Fenix. One of the highlights of his summer was a trip to Wimbledon. He spent four days in London with Bibi. They were able to see American Roger Federer a couple of times and also watched Swedish star Robin Soderling.
"We had a great time. It was a lot of fun," said Alfredsson.
He is also excited about the possibility of the 2012 NHL all-star game being held in Ottawa.
"It would be great," said Alfredsson. "The (people) here would eat that up with all the great players in the world here."