Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/19/14 at 02:04 AM ET
Mid-to-late August is the time of year that most NHL players--at least those who have established longer-term homes in particular locales--begin showing up near their places of employment.
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson's return to Canada's capital yielded some, let's say slightly uncomfortable questions regarding possibly succeeding Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza as the Senators' captain, as noted by the Canadian Press's Lisa Wallace (the Senators' website posted an 11:37 clip of Karlsson's media availability, too)...
“Obviously it’s something I wouldn’t say no to (but) it’s not something I’m going to ask for,” the star defenceman said Monday. “I think whoever takes that decision is going to make the right one and whether it’s me or someone else I think it’s going to be good for the team and good for the organization.”
The Senators are once again in search of a new captain as Jason Spezza — who replaced longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson — was traded to the Dallas Stars this past summer. Spezza wore the “C” for just one season before requesting a trade from Senators management.
“As a friend point of view it’s sad to see him go and I wish him all the best,” Karlsson said. “It’s part of the business unfortunately. He’s been here for a long time and felt that he needed to move on. It’s just one of those things you learn to deal with as a professional athlete.”
And Karlsson certainly seems to have blunted the edge of his spar-worthy tiff with the Senators' particularly team-critical media corps:
While Karlsson was already considered a star, he will likely come under even closer scrutiny this season with Spezza’s departure. In the end it was that scrutiny that proved to be too much for Spezza, but Karlsson says he’s ready and willing to accept it.
“That’s how it is playing on a Canadian team and that’s what you have to take,” Karlsson said. “It comes with its ups and downs and it’s a great feeling playing for a city where everybody cares so much. It’s going to be hard at times and people are going to analyze you for whatever you do.”
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