Daniel Alfredsson

Ottawa columnist rips Alfie for ‘going to a dump like Detoilet’


It’s a slow August Friday, so let’s shake it up a bit with a column from Matt Cooke’s favorite sports writer, the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan.

In his latest piece, Brennan expressed disappointment that former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was willing to throw away his Ottawa legacy to go to, of all places, Detroit.

He acknowledged the move was all about the money.

Without repeating Alfredsson’s chronology of how it all went down, the bottom line is he would have been handsomely rewarded had he stayed put. As well paid as he will be with the Red Wings? Maybe, or maybe a few hundred thousand shy of that. So a guy who has earned between $60-70 million from the Senators is going to a dump like Detoilet — and if you have ever visited Motown’s downtown, you can’t object to that classification — over a measly mil?

It’s nice that he’s taking the family on a “new adventure,” but the Alfredssons aren’t exactly on their way to Disney World. The boys are being torn from their friends and schools and hockey programs, and while their new house is sure to be in a ritzy neighbourhood, it’s not like Hugo and Loui will be able to play road hockey outside Joe Louis Arena while dad is at practice. The sticks would be stolen out of their hands.

Brennan, who said that Alfredsson revealed himself as “just another greedy athlete,” ended his piece with some strong words for Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.

Is Alfredsson, at age 40, worth $7 million a year? Of course not. As strictly a player, like he will be in Detroit, he’s valued about right at $3.5 million plus bonuses. But for all he’s done as a Senator, what he means to Ottawa and what he can still bring, $7 million is a bargain.

If Melnyk doesn’t see that, or couldn’t afford such an amount while acquiring Bobby Ryan, then we should all be worried for the Senators.

Related: ‘Disappointed’ Sens GM Murray says Alfie misinformed

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?