When Daniel Alfredsson decided to leave the Ottawa Senators and join their new division rivals the Detroit Red Wings, many Sens fans were shocked, appalled, and down right disgusted. The Captain was leaving the place he called home since joining the NHL in 1995. It was a sad day in Ottawa, no doubt. However, Alfie’s departure need not generate anymore sadness for Sens fans as the 2013-14 season rapidly draws nearer. The Captain was old, passed his prime, and most importantly he represented a painfully frustrating era in Sens hockey.
The Ottawa Senators had a ton of regular season success with Daniel Alfredsson as their captain. Over the years, he proved himself as one of the top scoring wingers in the NHL. In his prime he was feisty, effective in all aspects of the game, and lethal offensively. In the end, however, the Daniel Alfredsson Ottawa Senators were always unable to reach the top of the peak and win a Stanley Cup. Alfie and his wonderful supporting casts over the years always seemed to get beat out by some hungrier, more playoff hardened team of roughnecks and winners. Alfredsson was a great player on many great Senators teams, but under his reign, no championships were won.
As the Pesky Sens continue to grow into their newly established reputation as a very tough team to play against, it is only fitting that the iconic symbol of a much different Senators identity moves on to explore other opportunities. If you watched hockey in early and mid 2000’s when the Sens were constant Cup contenders, you’ll recall that those Alfredsson led teams were always criticized for not being hard enough to play against. That era is now officially over with Alfie’s decision to leave the Nation’s Capital and join the Detroit Red Wings.
Under Alfredsson’s reign, the Ottawa Senators won 4 Division Titles, 1 Presidents’ Trophy, 1 Eastern Conference Championship and 0 Stanley Cups. It is not Alfredsson’s fault directly, however, as Captain and mainstay on the Senators roster for all those years he is as much to blame for never winning the Cup as anyone else is. Alfredsson was a great hockey player who played on very strong hockey clubs that couldn’t meet expectations in the post season. That era is now over, and with it comes new hope that the pesky, blue collared, difficult to play against, youthful Senators will continue to reinvent themselves and become a Stanley Cup contender that can close the deal when the time is right.