I was one of the first people to speculate on whether or not the possibility of trading Daniel Alfredsson exists and under what conditions such a move would be conceivable. In the last week that speculation has made its rounds through almost all of the main stream media. In no way did I intend to say that he would be traded, merely brought up the possiblitly that is could happen, and under what circumstances it would happen. As much as all of the Alfie fans out there hate it, the speculation and the rumours will continue right up until the trade deadline of April 3rd, no matter what he, or Bryan Murray says between now and then. They will continue even if the Sens stay in playoff contention, but should they drop in the standings, watch out, because they will only intensify.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- There will be calls from other teams kicking the tires about the Captain. It only makes sense that a contender would be looking for an expiring contract with very little cash investment. It would cost a team less than $150,000 in real money to acquire him at the trade deadline for the last 25 days of the season.
- Alfredsson has played in the league for 17 years and his career is winding down. It is not likely, but a possibility that the time might come when the lure of getting a Stanley Cup before he retires is overwhelming. IF the Sens fall out of the playoff race, it is conceivable that he could chase the perhaps last shot at the Cup.
- It is something that the Senators management HAS to consider now, and have a plan in place, no matter how slim the chances. They cannot be caught off guard should Alfie come to them with the request late in the season. They have to be aware of what the market is, and what they could get in return, on almost a daily basis.
- It is simply a good topic of conversation for pundits, especially outside of Ottawa. Look at how riled up Sens fans get whenever the topic is brought up. Twitter blows up with rage and anger. Speculation is wrong most of the time anyways, and as long as there is a trade deadline, names will be mentioned no matter how absurd they may be.
Besides, this will all be a moot point because the Senators look good enough to stay in the playoff race, and Alfie nor management will rock the boat if that is the case. Alfredsson has stated his intention at the moment is to remain in Ottawa, but he also said “never say never”. If Wayne Gretzky can get traded, anyone can get traded.
If the Senators do fall out of the playoff picture, would you begrudge Alfie for approaching management with a request to move to a top contender? I certainly wouldn’t. For years the stigma against European players is that they cared more about playing for their country rather than winning a Stanley Cup. For all he has committed to the game, the team and the City, I would support his decision to leave in an attempt to win an elusive trophy, and hope that he would decide to play one more year and then came back to Ottawa, whether he was successful in his quest or not. That is also something that the Senators can intimate without breaking any rules regarding tampering.
He has earned that right.
As I said last week, I don’t think it will happen. I would put the odds at about 2%. He is loyal to the team and the city, but he could conceivable wake up one morning and realize one of his greatest dreams cannot or will not be fulfilled in Ottawa and for a 3 month window he could possibly reach that goal somewhere else.
A lot of IFs and BUTs, and still not likely to happen. I don’t want it to happen. But like it or not the speculation both inside and outside the City of Ottawa will not really end until April 3rd at 3:01 pm.