PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 10: Daniel Alfredsson #11 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 10, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
They say nothing lasts forever, and today was proof of that. Daniel Alfredsson, formerly the longest tenured captain in the NHL, has ended his time with the Ottawa Senators. A member of the Sens since 1995, Alfredsson's contract was up at the end of last season. When he announced he'd come back for one more year, everyone assumed that it would be with the Ottawa Senators.
Instead, he's the newest member of the Swedish Mafia in Detroit.
This won't be a Mike Modano one-off season, though. Alfredsson has more gas left in his tank than Modano did. At a one year, $5.5 million contract, this is an expensive investment for the Wings but one that they can make easily. It also implies that Ottawa, when they gave Alfredsson a "blank check," told him that there was a limit on it.
This draws the Senators' finances into question, obviously. You have the face of your franchise - a leader in every sense of the word - and your team's captain, and you don't secure him. It's never a good sign when you let your team's captain walk in free agency; it's nearly as bad as trading him during a rebuild. This is crushing on multiple levels for Sens fans, and for hockey fans in general. So much for the hope that some guys will spend their whole careers with one team. Nicklas Lidstrom might be the last of a dying breed.