OTTAWA — It's usually a topic that preoccupies psychologists, not hockey players, but at the opening of the Ottawa Senators' training camp, questions of identity figured prominently.
After a recent history of playoff woe and an off-season of upheaval, the Senators are working to develop a new collective personality, which the team's new head coach concedes is a work in progress.
"What's on paper is great, but we have to build an identity and that starts today," Craig Hartsburg said. "… We like the pieces that are here and the depth that we have, but on paper it doesn't really matter. It's the identity that we build and how quick we build it."
In effect, the Senators have tinkered significantly with their roster, trimming defencemen Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros and goaltender Ray Emery and picking up rearguards Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard and netminder Alex Auld. The Senators have also got a little rougher around the edges by acquiring the likes of hardnosed blueliner Jason Smith and speedy agitator Jarko Ruutu.