Clouston expects tough battles at camp

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Cory Clouston is ready to get back to work.

The Senators coach is looking forward to the end of a long off-season Friday when 50 players report for medicals and the battle for jobs officially begins in training camp.

Clouston expects those battles will be tough.

“It’s been a long summer for everybody, but I think it was a very good summer,” said Clouston. “I’ve talked to a lot of the guys and they’re very optimistic and excited.”

Clouston said he’s looking forward to seeing how players pushing for jobs on the blue line — including prospects Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch — and up front perform during the pre-season.

“In the back end, there’s a couple of situations where we want to make sure that we have a good look at some of the young guys,” said Clouston. “You could include Brian Lee in that scenario. It was not the season he wanted last year, but we have a lot of confidence in him.

“Up front, there are one or two guys that could realistically come in and make a statement. The most important thing for the young guys that may be pencilled in for Binghamton is that they’re also looking at an opportunity to give us an idea of what they’re able to do if and when we need some to call up.”

The players are also excited to get back, including the veterans, who will participate in a golf tournament Thursday at Kanata Lakes.

“It’s going to be fun to start up and get ready for the long haul that’s the regular season and, hopefully, put yourself in a good position to make the playoffs,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson. “It’s a great time of the year.”

Alfredsson’s sentiments were echoed by centre Jason Spezza, who returned to Ottawa this week and has been skating with teammates.

“It’s fun to be around the guys, with the guys and it’s exciting to be back.”


Videos

Photos