Yesterday I proposed that Jarome Iginla getting traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins made sense for all parties involved. A few years ago, when Mats Sundin was an impending free agent, many people chastised him for refusing a trade to a contender that would allow the Leafs to bring in pieces that would help them in a rebuild.
Last night, on Hockey Night in Canada, P.J. Stock suggested that the Senators might be willing to trade Daniel Alfredsson later in the season if Ottawa falls out of playoff contention. Now obviously it isn’t a scenario that Sens fans or management want to consider at the moment, but the question may come up. There are 3 ways to look at it. Could they trade him? Should they trade him? Would they trade him?
COULD THE SENATORS TRADE ALFREDSSON?
Without a doubt, as the trade deadline approaches, there would be contenders looking for that extra piece of the puzzle that would put them over the top. An impending free agent with a decent cap hit ($4.875M) and even better in terms of actual salary ($1M pro rated) would be a prime target for a cost-conscious team. At the trade deadline a team would only be on the hook for less than $150k of cash to add a player with Alfredsson’s experience and leadership abilities. I am sure teams like Phoenix and Nashville would jump at the chance.
SHOULD THE SENATORS TRADE ALFREDSSON?
This is a tricky situation. Obviously Alfie has been the face of the franchise for the better part of a decade. The Senators play 12 games after the April 3 trade deadline, and there could be some fan backlash if they were to trade their most popular player, even if his career is coming to an end and the Sens are out of the playoff picture. Fan impressions might win over, and they want to be able to see him play as long as they can in a Senators’ uniform. However, they could re-sign him after the season if he want to continue his career for another year. The Senators would likely be the only team he would come back with, and if it could net the club a couple of assets in return in the form of prospects or good draft picks, they need to investigate it.
WOULD THE SENATORS TRADE ALFREDSSON?
This topic has become an annual rite of passage in Ottawa, as there has always been questions about whether he would return for another season. I am sure the discussion will come up, should the Senators fall out of the playoff race, and they will discuss it with the player himself. If he wants to go to a contender to win a Stanley Cup before he retires, then I am sure they would consider his request. He has put in his time with the Senators, and if that was his wish, then the team and the fans would honour that request. I am not sure that it would happen, as Alfredsson has always been committed to Ottawa, the team and the city. But the allure of a cup and a “wink agreement” that he could return to Ottawa for another year after the season might swing it, especially if the result of the trade nets something that would help the Senators immediately.
I don’t think the Senators would trade Alfredsson unless the player himself requests to be moved, and then they would only consider trading him to a team of his choosing. For instance, if the Blackhawks came calling and wanted Alfredsson for a month and then the playoffs, both Alfie and the Sens might have to consider it.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and the Senators stay in the mix and it doesn’t come down to having the sit down meeting and making a difficult decision that neither Alfredsson or the Senators want to make. I can’t imagine seeing him in another jersey, but also would not begrudge him a chance to win a Cup. I just wish it could be in Ottawa.