Alfie: 'I love camp'

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 PM ET

Training camp doesn’t get old for Daniel Alfredsson.

Heading into his 14th NHL season, the Senators captain was sporting a smile as he reported for his medical Friday at Scotiabank Place. He’s looking forward to getting back on the ice Saturday.

Optimism abounds as camp begins with the players getting a fresh start — optimism shared by the 37-year-old, longest-serving captain in the NHL.

He didn’t necessarily always feel that way.

“I’m sure there was times where I thought (coming to camp) was no fun, but as you get older, I think you appreciate things more again and it’s great to be among the young guys,” said Alfredsson.

What he doesn’t appreciate is having only four days on the ice before the Senators face the Maple Leafs in back-to-back pre-season games Tuesday and Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Alfredsson, fully recovered from off-season hernia surgery, said he wouldn’t mind a couple of more days to prepare.

He’d also like fewer pre-season games. The Senators will play eight of them over just 12 days this year.

“(Camp is) so short now,” he said. “I’d like to see camp two days longer. It’d be nice to have five days with everybody and you’d have lots of time to bond. Now it’s exhibition games right away. There’s too many exhibition games ... Otherwise, I love camp.”

There will be time to bond later. Once the roster is settled following the final pre-season game against the Rangers on Oct. 2 at home, coach Cory Clouston plans to take the players away for 36 hours for a team bonding session.

NO TRYOUTS HERE

The Senators had a call to see if they’d be interested in bringing in veteran C Robert Lang — who spent last season with the Coyotes — on a tryout, but they declined.

There were also calls from representatives for veteran W Bill Guerin (Pittsburgh) and Petr Sykora (Minnesota), but the Senators didn’t want to bring anybody in without a contract because they have little money to spend under the cap.

“We talked about a couple of names and if it was a name that blew you out of the water, you would certainly say yes on a PTO (professional tryout),” said Senators assistant GM Tim Murray.

“The names that were brought up, if you do (bring them in), it takes (Roman) Wick or (Bobby) Butler out of the equation. I didn’t see the calibre of the player being good enough to sacrifice a younger guy or a prospect.”

THIS ’N’ THAT

Senators G Pascal Leclaire, who struggled with injuries last year, is sick of talking about his health. “You guys are going to have to come up with new questions this year. It’s always the same stuff and I’m going to repeat the same things,” said Leclaire. “Things happen and I deal with them as best as possible. It’s a new season. You always have to start over and this is no different.” ... Expect D Sergei Gonchar to be paired with Chris Phillips to start camp. They will skate in the same group Saturday and Gonchar is the most logical partner for Phillips with Anton Volchenkov gone.


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