Former Senators captain Alfredsson retires
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has officially retired.
The 41-year-old Swedish forward made the announcement at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, the rink he called home for most of his 18 seasons in the NHL.
The Senators have signed their longtime captain to a ceremonial one-day contract that will allow him to lace up his skates in his old stall and take part in pre-game warm-ups with his old team.
“Being out there with the boys again, is going to be a special feeling,” Alfredsson said. “I’m going to try to not fall down.”
Alfredsson wore his No. 11 jersey at a news conference Thursday morning. The Senators’ captain from 1999 to 2013, Alfredsson left last year to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.
He is remembered fondly for the goal he scored against the Buffalo Sabres to send the Senators to the Stanley Cup final in 2007, the love fest at the 2012 all-star game and for winning a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Olympics.
It began with the decision to leave Goteborg, Sweden, at 22 to play for the Senators, who drafted him in the sixth round in 1994. Alfredsson was glad he and Bibbi, his girlfriend at the time, “made the leap.”
“One evening nearly 20 years ago a young man in a small town in Sweden got a phone call that would change his life,” Alfredsson said. “We began an incredible new chapter of our lives in your town starting in August 1995. Our marvelous boys were born here, and we grew from youngsters into aging parents. You made your town our town.”
Ottawa was Alfredsson’s town in his Calder Trophy season in 1995-96 and through 15 playoff appearances. One of his favorite memories was seeing thousands of people lined up along the street to celebrate the trip to the Cup final.
“I never believed that my career entitled me to any special treatment,” Alfredsson said. “However Bibbi and I both agreed this was the right thing to do and it would give us a chance to say thank you to the people and the fans of Ottawa.”