Patrice Bergeron, Patrick Marleau and Matt Duchene were willing to adapt to different roles and returned from Sochi with gold medals.

It was a lesson that wasn’t lost on 20-year-old Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad.

While Zibanejad didn’t particularly enjoy the end result — Canada rolling over his native Sweden in Sunday’s Olympic men’s hockey championship game — he couldn’t help but notice how Bergeron, Marleau and Duchene accepted the opportunity to play as wingers instead of their more natural roles as centres with National Hockey League teams.

On a considerably smaller stage, Zibanejad, who has 11 goals and 13 assists in 49 games, is singing a similar tune. He insists it’s no big deal where Senators coach Paul MacLean uses him.

“I feel like it’s a bigger deal for you guys than to me, to be honest,” Zibanejad said following Tuesday’s spirited practice at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin, where he lined up as a centre with Binghamton call-up Mike Hoffman on his left side and with Bobby Ryan on his right.

“I feel like I can play both positions (centre or right wing) now, and I feel comfortable with that. If I play centre now and wing later, it doesn’t really matter to me, as long as I can help the team win and do my part.”

If we know anything from watching MacLean over the past few years, it’s that his line combinations sometimes don’t last until the first commercial break, occasionally not even through the pre-game warmup. By Thursday, when the Senators play host to the Detroit Red Wings, Zibanejad quickly find himself back on right wing beside Jason Spezza or some other centre, for that matter.

For now, there are several theories on why MacLean has put together Hoffman, Zibanejad and Ryan.