He is the face of the franchise.
As Daniel Alfredsson NHL career begins to wind down, it gets increasingly difficult to project his offensive production. Coming off surgery to repair an ailing back, it is that much more tricky to know what kind of year we can expect from the Captain.
Based on everything we have heard this summer, Alfredsson is progressing as expected and should be ready to go when the season kicks off in a little more than a month.
For the first time, I think we'll begin to see a slightly diminished role for the Captain. He's still going to see a regular shift in the Top 6 and will be a mainstay on the power play but I think we'll begin to see his role on the PK reduced. He is still an effective penalty killer but MacLean has to do what he can to keep Alfie fresh.
At 38, Alfredsson can't be Mr. Everything for this team game in, game out.
With that said, I expect a bounce back year from the Captain. Health will obviously be the key here but if he can stay in the line up, he should be among the team's leading scorers.
With the All Star Game in Ottawa this year, I expect Alfie to be front and centre in those festivities. Should the NHL continue with the Team Captain format, you can guarantee a healthy Alfredsson would be given the opportunity to take part.
Much like Filatov, offensive numbers will depend on whether or not Alfie has the chance to play with Spezza on a regular basis. I think we'll see Butler get a chance up there early on but if he falters, Alfredsson is the next in line.
The Captain is just 11 goals away from 400 on his career and should hit that milestone this season. The days of 100 point seasons are behind him but Alfie can still be a productive offensive player.
2011/2012 PROJECTION- 68 GP 25 G 32 A 57 PTS