Say this about Daniel Alfredsson — he’s honest.
The longtime captain and face of the Senators franchise signed with Detroit today on a one-year, $5.5 million deal — and, in speaking with the media, acknowledged his desire to win a Cup elsewhere will probably rile up Ottawa fans.
“I’m not worried about my legacy,” Alfredsson explained. “I expect there will be resentment and anger from fans, as I think there definitely should be.”
Ottawa’s sixth-round selection at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Alfie debuted with the club in 95-96 and went on to win the Calder Trophy and represent the team at the annual All-Star Game.
From there, the accolades continued to pour in: In 1999, he was named team captain; in 2006 he was named to the NHL’s second All-Star Team; in 2012 he won the King Clancy Memorial trophy and this year, captured the Mark Messier Leadership Award.
But after 18 seasons in the Canadian capital, it’s clear Alfredsson felt he needed a change.
First, there was his odd “probably not” comment when asked if Ottawa could come back from a 3-1 series deficit against Pittsburgh.
More recently, it was revealed Sens owner Eugene Melnyk is “feeling less flush than he used to,” (according to the Ottawa Citizen), and the team was reportedly working with a $50 million internal salary cap for next season, $14 million below the ceiling.
Not exactly what you’d expect from a Stanley Cup contender.
As such, it’s easier to understand why Alfie said the following:
Daniel Alfredsson says he didn’t just want to play out the string with the #sens and expects resentment/anger from fans.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 5, 2013
More Alfie: “This is all about trying to win a Stanley Cup.” — Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) July 5, 2013
Alfredsson: “I know what I’ve done in Ottawa. … This is about me. This is a decision I make for myself, not for anybody else.” — Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) July 5, 2013
Alfredsson said easy thing would have been to retire as a Senator, but he’s competitive and wouldn’t have felt same drive.
— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) July 5, 2013
It was a candid and frank series of admissions. The ex-Sens captain even went so far as to describe his choice as selfish.
“It pretty much came down to a selfish decision in terms of I have not won a Stanley Cup,” he said. “[That’s] a big priority for me.”