Brady Tkachuk “chomping at the bit” to make Senators debut tonight against Sharks
Brady Tkachuk signed a monster extension after holding out this offseason. When the Sens gave him a seven-year, $57.5 million deal on October 14, he was ready to jump into action but had to wait.
Tonight, he will make his season debut for the Ottawa Senators when they host the San Jose Sharks.
“I’ve been chomping at the bit for a while now and definitely excited to go,” he said after missing the Senators first three games.
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Brady Tkachuk ready to go against San Jose
The left winger, who had 17 goals and 19 assists (36 points) in 56 games last season, expects it to take some time to adjust when he takes to the ice. But while finding his game legs, he’ll be able to count on the familiarity of being reunited with linemates Josh Norris and Drake Batherson.
“It’s been a while since I played last,” Tkachuk said. “So I think it’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment, getting up to speed with different types of plays that usually comes easy midseason but at the start takes time. But I think for myself, just try to keep it as simple as I can, just move it, skate, get open and try to really simplify my game and make life easier for Josh and Drake.”
His return will see second-year forward Tim Stutzle slide in on a line with center Chris Tierney and winger Alex Formenton. The newly formed line has combined for four goals through three games and has the potential to deliver even more with the speed and skill of both Stutzle and Formenton.
The Senators are coming off a 3-2 win against Dallas on Sunday, recording their second win of the season in three games thus far, a huge improvement from the 11 games it took to record a pair of victories a season ago.
“I still have nightmares about how long it took us to get our second win (last season),” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “But to get two wins in the three games is good for us. It gives us some confidence.”
The Sharks arrive in Ottawa on the heels of a 5-0 rout of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday so this should be a great test for Tkachuk.
Tkachuk expected to be named captain
This summer, the Senators made it clear they are ready to name a captain.
“We hope to but that’a decision with Mr. Melnyk and Pierre. Everybody will be involved because it’s a big-time important decision,” coach DJ Smith said via the Ottawa Sun. “But we feel we’re at that time now where we’re as close as we’ve been to naming a guy. It’s time for someone to be the leader of this group.”
There appears to be an obvious choice for captain and that is Brady Tkachuk. Even Owner Eugene Melnyk hinted at that recently on the Bob McCown podcast. “That’s going to be what we’re thinking about all summer and whether he’s the person for that.”
If they decide not to give him the captaincy, defenseman Thomas Chabot is the next logical choice. However, the buzz in Ottawa is that he is expected to get the honor soon.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report