The Ottawa Senators drafted their future captain, and team leader for many years to come, in the 6th round of the 1994 NHL entry draft. Daniel Alfredsson was taken with the 133rd pick that year, and came to be one of the greatest players the city of Ottawa had ever seen. Alfie spent a total of 17 seasons in Ottawa before signing a one year deal with the Detroit Red Wings this offseason in an effort to make another push to win a Stanley Cup before retirement.
Alfredsson played his first season in the NHL in 1995. During his rookie season he posted 26 goals, 35 assists, for a total of 61 points. He was awarded with the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year, and from there, his more than promising career took off.
Alfie’s best season came in 2005 when he scored his only 100 point season. Alfredsson scored a total of 43 goals, and added 60 assists that season for a total of 103 points. He was in his prime at the time, scoring 80 points or more in four straight seasons.
Alfredsson is a six time NHL All-Star, and holds numerous team records for the Ottawa Senators. Alfie leads all Senators in regular season games, goals, assists, and points, as well as playoff games, goals, assists, and points. Alfredsson also set a team record for most points in a single game when he scored 3 goals and grabbed 4 assists in a single game against the Tampa Bay Lighning in 2008.
Alfredsson became the franchise player in Ottawa through hard work and his ability to compete at a high level night in and night out. He is an excellent leader, and will fit in to the Detroit Red Wings system nearly perfectly.
But why did Alfie decide to abandon the city that he had called home for so long? To seemingly turn his back on the fans that had praised him for years? The feeling of resentment and the feeling of betrayal is one we all feel at one point when it comes to our favorite sports teams. Alfredsson wanted to win a Stanley Cup and saw a better opportunity to do so while wearing the storied winged wheel. The falling out Alfie had in the bussiness end of the deal in Ottawa is covered here by our own Geordie Carragher.
No matter the reason, the Detroit Red Wings were able to snag leaders from two division rivals coming into this season. Alfredsson will skate in Ottawa next season but will be wearing red and white, which I can only imagine means this could be the beginning of quite a brutal rivalry. Alfie and the Red Wings will visit Ottawa for the first time on Sunday, December 1st.
Alfredsson may have had a falling out with the city of Ottawa, but no one, not even his most bitter fan, can deny that he was the greatest player to ever skate in Ottawa. Going back, I’m sure every team in the NHL would have loved to take him in the first round, but he somehow fell to the Senators in the sixth round that year, and for that, he is the Senators diamond in the rough.