Spezza: ‘Not in a million years’ did I think Alfredsson would leave Ottawa

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Senators forward Jason Spezza talked with the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday about what a whirlwind summer it’s been in the Canadian capital.

That, of course, meant broaching the Daniel Alfredsson subject.

“I was surprised, I will be honest,” Spezza said of the ex-captain’s decision to leave Ottawa for Detroit. “Not in a million years would I have thought that he wouldn’t have come back (to Ottawa), if he was going to play.

“After talking to him I could understand his rationale, and the decision he wanted to make. He knows what he has to do with his career. We support him and there will be no ill will against him from our part.”

Alfredsson’s move to the Wings will impact Spezza in a number of ways.

The 30-year-old will now become the team’s second longest-tenured player (defenseman Chris Phillips is now the longest) and, according to many that cover the team, a likely replacement to wear the “C.”

Spezza inherited Mike Fisher’s alternate captaincy after Fisher was dealt to Nashville during the 2010-11 season, and has worn the “A” ever since — along with Phillips.

In discussing the potential captaincy, Spezza again took the opportunity to praise Alfredsson.

“By having Alfie there for so long and taking on a bigger leadership role on the team, becoming captain would be a great next step for me and something I have been working towards,” Spezza explained. “You never knew when it was going to happen, or if it would happen – but the best thing for me if I become captain – and I don’t know if I will be or not – I won’t have to change anything.

“I’m ready for more responsibility and we have great leadership.”