One of the storylines that we did not expect to see take place during this summer’s offseason was Daniel Alfredsson cutting ties with the only club he’s ever known, the Ottawa Senators, in order to seek greener pastures with the Detroit Red Wings. It was widely assumed that he’d call it quits or return only to the Senators, in Teemu Selanne-type fashion.
That didn’t happen. Contract talks fell apart and Alfredsson found himself negotiating with other teams, with the already aging Red Wings giving him a one-year contract. In a not uncommon move, he’s obviously chasing a Stanley Cup as he closes in on the end of his career.
But that doesn’t make the breakup any easier for the Senators or their fans. Fans have already started to cancel season tickets, while the Senators are still left dumbfounded by the fact that he left. However, his departure could end up having some positive effects for the Senators as a franchise.
In a broad sense, what the departure of Alfredsson does is get this youth movement completely underway in Ottawa. It had already begun, with the Senators boasting one of the more impressive farm systems anywhere in the game. They’re not as limited with getting some of their young guys action.
Along with their young talent, the Senators were able to pick up a couple of impressive pieces to add to the mix, signing Clarke MacArthur in free agency before going out and acquiring a top tier winger, capable of putting in 30 goals in his sleep, in Bobby Ryan. Bringing in the two presents an upgrade over Alfredsson from a production standpoint.
The Senators can see this as something of a fresh start for them. Yes, they lose the face of the franchise, but at the same time, he took all the blame. Ottawa can start from scratch, with an emerging young core, and some recently acquired talent. They’ve been an up-and-coming club for the last couple of years. The departure of Daniel Alfredsson just allows them to get going on the latter end of that much sooner.