Early yesterday, a story broke from Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes suggesting that this could be the last season for Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson.
At the age of 38, Alfie has suited up for 1056 games in the NHL, all of which are with the Ottawa Senators. The fact that he is treating this season like it may be his last should not come as any surprise.
We have heard the same sort of talk from Alfie the last couple of off seasons. He is coming to the end of his NHL career and that is something he knows and the fans in Ottawa know. It is absolutely a story to keep an eye on later in the season but at this point, the story may be a little premature. If Alfredsson is healthy and productive this year, I am certain he would be open to coming back for another season.
The second issue at play here is the idea of trading Alfie to a contender, something Alfredsson also addressed in his interview with Mendes.
At this point, Alfredsson says that's not his intention but the Ottawa captain does leave the door open for a possible trade this season, if it makes sense for both himself and the organization.
"That might change, but as of right now, I have no desire to do that," Alfredsson said when asked if he would follow in Ray Bourque's path. "I haven't even thought about it that way. I'm committed to stay here, but who knows: things could change come February or March. But right now, I'd say ‘no’ to that question."
The very thought of trading Alfredsson makes me uncomfortable.
Obviously that is a right he has earned through years of dedication to this organization and this city but it will be a decision that is entirely up to #11. If he wants to go elsewhere, then the organization must accommodate him. But as Alfie indicated above, that is not his plan right now so thankfully it’s not something fans need to worry themselves with just yet.
The Ottawa Senators are about to drop the puck on their 20th Season in the NHL and anything can happen. Projected as a bottom-feeder by some, this team is poised to surprise some people and the Captain Daniel Alfredsson is going to be a big part of that.
Talk of dealing the face of the franchise or speculation about his playing future can be left for another day.