Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Da lil Guy on 09/14/13 at 02:27 PM ET
Updated @ 6:41 pm: Video of the Spezza press conference is now on the Senators website. Unfortunately, we still can't embed NHL videos until the league works out the glitch in their new player.
The Senators have announced that Jason Spezza will step into the vacant skates of Daniel Alfredsson and take over the mantle of captain. Veteran tough guy Chris Neil will take on the 'A' vacated by Spezza along with Chris Phillips.
The choice of Spezza isn't surprising and was fairly widely expected after Alfredsson left for Detroit. (I even had a post on it here).
The leadership team of Spezza, Phillips and Neil consists of the three oldest members of the young Senators team, the three who have been with the team the longest, and three Senators draft picks who have never played for another NHL club. Not surprising, then, that GM Bryan Murray emphasized building on the team's history before the announcement.
Coach Paul MacLean introduced Spezza as captain, saying that while each player on the team is expected to lead the leadership group was expected to represent that leadership as well as the team's management and coaching staff. He also offered the fact that that Spezza is a 'family man' who had chosent to put down roots in Ottawa as a factor in the decision to make him Captain - likely an important point as the franchise begins the process of wooing Spezza into staying with the team when his contract expires in a couple of seasons.
Spezza, who found out about the choice at the morning practice, said that being captain of an NHL team was a childhood dream come true, and said the thing that excited him most was the chance to work closely with 'Philly and Neiler' in the leadership roles. He credited Daniel Alfredsson by name for setting an example of how to be Captain, and how a Captain is expected to carry himself in the community - but he also said they've always lead together, and that makes him feel comfortable in the role as a natural step forward. He said childhood idols like Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux were also examples, and said he see's Yzerman as "an offensive guy like me, who went on to win Stanley Cups as the Captain of his team."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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