Allegedly, the unthinkable has indeed happened. An 18 year marriage between Daniel Alfredsson, the Ottawa Senators and the City of Ottawa has come to an end.
Apparently, the 40 year old right winger and now former captain of the Senators has jumped ship for what will in all likelihood be his final NHL season and has reached a contract agreement to play with the Senators newest Conference and Divisional rival, the Detroit Red Wings. Nothing is signed yet, but many multiple credible sources are saying it is done.
While there will be much finger-pointing over the coming weeks and months, needless to say there will be a lot of very upset and disappointed fans in the Ottawa area as the player they have looked up to for so long will be coming in wearing a different uniform.
While Thursday’s optimism from Bryan Murray and Paul MacLean is now unfounded, the question remains – Why?
This move is surely going to create a maelstrom of public relations nightmares and the front office will have a lot of explaining to do. Did Alfredsson want too much money? Did he just want a change of scenery after 18 years? Was the team not ready to make moves to help him become a contender?
And from Alfredsson’s side, there will also be questions. Does Detroit represent a better chance to win a Cup at this point than Ottawa? What about the legacy he has built in Ottawa, and will this tarnish it?
There will be a lot of grieving and a lot of upset and angry fans in Ottawa for the next while. This turn of events was completely unexpected and I am still not sure how I feel about it.
The Senators have a lot of explaining to do.