Daniel Alfredsson (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
When Ottawa Senators training camp opens, Daniel Alfredsson will be in attendance as the Senators’ senior advisor of hockey operations. Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk announced Thursday that Alfredsson would be returning to the club in a front office role to begin the 2015-16 season.
The most celebrated player in Ottawa Senators history is officially back with the team, as Daniel Alfredsson has been brought aboard by the team as senior advisor of hockey operations.
Alfredsson, 42, will join the club at training camp and will begin his role in time for the beginning of the 2015-16 season. In his role as senior advisor, the Senators say Alfredsson’s duties will include scouting and player development and that the longtime Ottawa captain will work closely with GM Bryan Murray.
“I am excited for our fans and our team that Daniel has agreed to begin the second part of his storied hockey career right where he belongs – with the Senators,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a release. “Daniel has been an exceptional part of our team’s history. He was a tremendous leader on the ice and equally in our community. I very much want him to continue to be part of our hockey club and our city.
"Bringing the Stanley Cup to Ottawa has always been my focus, now more than ever. I believe Daniel’s experience and track record as one of the elite players in our league will bring us closer to that goal.”
In a sense, this will be Alfredsson’s second return to Ottawa.
After a 17-year career, all played in Ottawa, Alfredsson played the final year of his career as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Following the 2013-14 season, however, it was uncertain whether Alfredsson would continue with the Red Wings, head back to Ottawa or retire altogether.
Over his career in Ottawa, Alfredsson became the club’s all-time leader in games played (1178, since passed by Chris Phillips), goals (426), assists (682), points (1,108), power play goals (131), shorthanded goals (25) and game-winning goals (69). For him to retire a Senator seemed inevitable, but it was thought that bridge had been burned upon him leaving for Detroit. However, upon choosing to retire, Alfredsson signed a one-day contract with Ottawa in order to retire as a Senator.
"I never believed my career entitled me to any special treatment," Alfredsson said at the press conference to announce his retirement. “(My wife) Bibi and I both agreed this was the right thing to do and give us a chance to say thank you to the people and fans of Ottawa. So here we are, today I will officially retire as an Ottawa Senator and another new chapter will begin tonight.”
It had long been discussed that Alfredsson’s new chapter could result in him returning to the NHL to work a front office role, and Thursday’s announcement that he’ll be joining the Senators is extremely fitting.
“I want to thank Eugene and Bryan for giving me this tremendous opportunity,” said Alfredsson. “Retiring from the game but having this chance to remain part of the hockey world, especially in Ottawa, is very special.”