Ottawa Senators Training Camp Preview

by Chet Sellers

Folks, August is almost over, which means training camps are only a few weeks away! There’s no more optimistic time of year for fans, as veteran players show up healthy and rested, rookies fight tooth-and-nail to earn a roster spot, and big-name offseason acquisitions take the ice with the team for the first time. This could really be the year, says everyone! So what can we expect from next month’s Senators training camp? Let’s find out!
  • Craig Anderson is crestfallen when he shows up at camp expecting the team to present him with a new Corvette for his collection as a reward for his Vezina-worthy season last year, only to find he misheard Bryan Murray and is actually just getting a new Corvo. 
  • It’s obvious after only a few skating drills that Milan Michalek’s knee is better than ever following a controversial German blood serum therapy. Michalek’s knee agrees, announcing to reporters, “I feel like I’m in the best shape of my career.”
  • Kyle Turris surprises everyone by showing up to camp sporting an extra ten pounds of muscle, which he attributes to an offseason of serious weightlifting combined with an ultra-high-carb diet of fettuccine alfredo and white bread. The team is so pleased with Turris’ development that they excuse his late arrival, which he blames on a stiff breeze that prevented him from getting across the parking lot.
  • In recognition of his burgeoning career on the 1s and 2s, Mika Zibanejad is named official team DJ responsible for post-game dressing room music, which he celebrates on the first day of camp by playing a two-hour long set of “mostly Swedish stuff I’ve been digging lately.” On the second day of camp, Zack Smith’s iPhone is named official team DJ by a 19-3 vote.
  • Clarke MacArthur finds himself fitting seamlessly into the dynamic of a new dressing room, despite almost every player greeting him by saying, “Oh yeah! I forgot we signed you!” MacArthur insists it’s just nice to be recognized by such a great collection of guys, until he is interrupted by Matt Kassian handing him a bag of sweaty gear and remarking, “Here you go; I hope you’re better than the last equipment guy.”
  • Robin Lehner reports to camp with 1% body fat and resolves, shamefully, to do better next year. Equipment staff are unsure of how to approach him regarding the illegality of the new stick he is proposing to use, which is a large club he claims to have whittled from a thousand-year-old spruce tree using only a penknife.
  • Bobby Ryan dazzles Sensplex onlookers during a shootout drill when he carries the puck in and fakes a backhand shot only to then execute a full reverse spin, during which he manages to pull out his phone and chirp Erik Condra on Twitter before depositing the puck stick-side on Robin Lehner.
  • Colin Greening, Jared Cowen, and Erik Condra return to the bench after a sluggish PK effort during an intra-squad scrimmage as Paul MacLean points and announces, loud enough for the entire bench to hear, “that’s that shift I don’t like,” and then has no idea why J-G Pageau has posted him up for a high five.
  • Jason Spezza reports to camp and says he’s feeling great and ready to focus on the challenges of being the team’s new captain, and that he’s long moved past being snubbed by the Canadian Olympic team. Others aren’t so sure, particularly after Matt Spezza is caught under Marc Methot’s car disconnecting his radiator.
  • Spezza isn’t the only player using a recent snub as motivation for the upcoming season. Chris Phillips arrives at camp in terrific shape, which he attributes to an embarrassing incident when he agreed to buy beer for a group of kids outside the LCBO only to have them politely decline when he returned with Big Rig Gold. Cory Conacher, meanwhile, refuses to address what’s got him so fired up, although insiders claim it has something to do with minimum ride heights at Canada’s Wonderland.
  • Frustrated with his position on the depth chart at centre behind Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, and even J-G Pageau, Jim O’Brien surprises everyone by self-releasing his own rap single in which he announces he’ll soon be seeing departed homies Bobby Butler and Kaspars Daugavins in “Waiverz Mansion.” The track wins HOT 89.9’s “Battle of the Beats” four days in a row before being unseated by One Direction.
  • Daniel Alfredsson is once again forced to defend himself against allegations of provoking Sens fans when he shows up to the first two days of camp in full Senators uniform and even leads several team drills. Alfredsson insists he is only trying to “get a skate or two in before Red Wings camp starts, which is in Detroit . . . where I play now. Crap, I guess I have to do this, huh.”
  • Optimism abounds as camp draws to a close when Erik Karlsson skates to centre ice and announces he has finally regained feeling in his left foot, specifically a “warm, kind of glowing feeling.” Team doctors attribute the breakthrough in sensation to Karlsson’s regular, dedicated rehab, and also possibly the beam of white light that has burst through the Sensplex ceiling and is shining directly on his left ankle.
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