Yesterday, the Ottawa Senators’ training camp featured an intra-squad scrimmage and routine media availability from several players and staff. Here are some of the more notable details from yesterday:
- Group A (Team Alfredsson) featured the team’s projected top line of Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, and Drake Batherson, as well as four defensemen considered to be in the mix for a roster spot, who lined up as such:
First group on the ice for Sens practice. And the d-pairings of note:— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) September 22, 2022
I wouldn’t pencil Nick Holden and Nikita Zaitsev in as the third pairing just yet, but it would appear that the club wants Erik Brännström to really have a strong camp to solidify a spot in the top-six. In Holden’s availability below, he mentioned he’s open to playing on the right side if necessary:
"Exciting is a good word that everyone keeps using. So it's awesome for us because we do feel that."#Sens defenceman Nick Holden on the energy around the community as training camp kicks off. pic.twitter.com/SDc5P3mrfH— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 22, 2022
- Chris Neil and Chris Phillips took to the role of bench boss in the scrimmage between the appropriately-named Team Neil (featuring Shane Pinto, Mathieu Joseph, Thomas Chabot, and Artem Zub), and Team Phillips (featuring Tim Stützle, Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, and Jake Sanderson). The Stützle line connected for an early goal, while Pinto responded with a tally of his own to even things up.
- Travis Hamonic is expected to line up alongside 2020 5th-overall pick Jake Sanderson this year, and the 31-year-old veteran had nothing but good things to say about his play, pointing out that “when he (Sanderson) has the puck between the two of us it’s probably a better thing.” He also talked about how playing for Ottawa last year has helped him become more comfortable in preparation for opening night.
"We know where we want to get and it's going to be a process for us this year, but we are going to work and we are going to get there."— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 22, 2022
Travis Hamonic on returning to Ottawa for training camp. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/Bqb428AfXv
- Other player availabilities are linked here: Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux.
- In the following clip, head coach D.J. Smith talks about getting his team ready for the start of the season, as well as the group mentality of being done with losing. General manager Pierre Dorion adds that his goal for the Sens this year is to be playing meaningful games through the end of the season and potentially be in a position to add talent at the trade deadline. He also offers updates on the Sens’ injured players, including Ridly Greig and Viktor Lodin.
#Sens head coach D.J. Smith and general manager Pierre Dorion spoke earlier today ahead of training camp opening on Thursday morning.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) September 22, 2022
Watch the full video at the link below.
: https://t.co/w2Lua8t5Q9 pic.twitter.com/6pZUMYh71a
- The full video is available here, and just around the 1:55 mark, he fields questions about the ongoing investigation regarding Hockey Canada and the 2018 World Junior team. He states that he isn’t able to comment, as directed by the league, which is consistent with other NHL clubs such as the Philadelphia Flyers (Carter Hart) and New Jersey Devils (Michael McLeod) in the same boat as Ottawa. Dorion was also asked if any roster decisions (nothing specific was mentioned but I’d look at the Tyler Motte signing as well as Alex Formenton being without a contract) have been affected by the investigation, to which he said they weren’t whatsoever.
- Drake Batherson was also made available to the media and gave a similar answer when asked about the allegations. When asked later on about how he feels about hockey culture in general, he chose to give an answer about the culture in his own team’s locker room. It would appear that he either misinterpreted the question (which pertained to the issues in hockey regarding abuse, racism, etc.), or he deliberately chose to refrain from talking about said issues. Which of these is the case, I couldn’t tell you.