Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By ART REGNER  |  Last updated 8/30/13
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After a tumultuous summer, Daniel Alfredsson was finally back to doing what he does best - playing hockey. Alfredsson made his Red Wings' debut Friday at Joe Louis Arena - wearing number 11, so long Dan Cleary - taking part in an informal practice session with several teammates including Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg. It felt good to finally come here and skate, Alfredsson said. Its been a few months since I signed and the only thing that has happened is moving the family. We arrived yesterday, and coming here skating with the guys almost makes it feel that its real now. Im excited to be here and Im really looking forward to this challenge and what I can do for the team. Hopefully I can have a good year. Last week Alfredsson and his family were in Detroit looking at houses. His family spent time with Johan Franzens family and Alfredsson came down to the Joe to visit with staff and meet with Wings GM, Ken Holland. I feel Im getting use to the surroundings a little bit, Alfredsson said. This is a really exciting adventure for me and my family. You could tell that Alfredsson was relaxed and just glad to be back on the ice. His decision to leave the Senators after 17 years sent shock waves throughout Ottawa and Canada. It seems a day hasnt gone by, where his defection to Detroit isnt brought up north of the border. I was in Sweden at the time, but I knew it was going to be a big story, Alfredsson said about his leaving the Senators. If I was in Ottawa, I may have a different feeling than I have right now. Being back in Sweden was a buffer between Alfredsson and the Canadian press that were highly critical of his move. He hasnt read many of the numerous articles, but his relationship wasnt with the press. It was with the Ottawa fans. My point of view is that I was able to have an experience and a relationship with the Ottawa fans for such a long time and that doesnt happen very often, Alfredsson said. I had mixed emotions. I love Ottawa for everything that it has given me. I still love Ottawa. As much as hes appreciative of the Senators fans, Alfredsson is eager to begin his Red Wings career, especially with the Wings being in the Eastern Conference, a move that he sees beneficial to Detroit. They will adapt really well, Alfredsson said. They play that skating style, that puck possession style, thats demanding and makes things happen. The travel is a lot easier, no time changes. Mentally over a season that has an affect and thats gone. That is a big plus, as well. Alfredssons not too concerned with who hell be playing with in Detroit. He likes the Wings depth at forward and being on a new team with players such as Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, has given the 40 year-old a sense of rejuvenation. In Ottawa I was treated so well for so many years, you grow accustomed to it that I took it for granted, Alfredsson said. Now that Ive changed teams, Ive got to prove myself again. The Red Wing fans Im sure have heard of me and know of me, but I want to show my best sides. Its exciting, a little bit nervous, obviously, but its given me a little more energy in the summer workouts, than Ive had the last few years. While Alfredsson is excited to get the season underway, Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg is in a state of disbelief that Alfie is his teammate. When Alfie called me up in the middle of the summer and ask how Detroit is, I was like, why, why is he wondering how Detroit is, Zetterberg said. He explained that he might be a Red Wing next year. I was really surprised and really happy and a few days later it was signed and done. Alfie is the last Swede in the league that I thought I would play with; I never thought I would play with him on the club team. You and a million Red Wing fans, Hank.
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