When Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings last summer, there were more than a few folks in Ottawa who were not thrilled. After all, number 11 was the face of the franchise through many exciting years while the organization established itself as a Cup threat and one of the most consistently successful 1990’s expansion teams. Don’t think of Alfredsson as another great in franchise history – he was the only great for a new franchise.
It would have been the perfect storybook ending if Alfredsson – captain of the Senators for fourteen years – member of the team for all but two seasons in franchise history – would have retired a lifelong Sen. But you can’t always get what you want.
Some fans were mad when Alfredsson left home, and they had every right to be heated in the moments following the greatest heartbreak in Ottawa Senators history.
Despite the pain, the organization will pay respect to the former captain this Sunday. According to this from the Ottawa Sun, franchise owner Eugene Melnyk confirmed yesterday that there will be a pre-game video tribute to Daniel Alfredsson before Sunday’s game at the Canadian Tire Centre. The game in Ottawa will be Alfredsson’s first return to Canada’s capital since leaving the team last offseason.
How Alfredsson will be received by the hometown crowd is anyone’s guess. Sean McIndoe of Grantland recently speculated in his piece entitled “How Should Ottawa Fans Handle Daniel Alfredsson’s Return?”
What does Sens Nation think? It’s hard to know for sure. Just to give some perspective, here is a look at Ottawa Senators blog reactions from July 5th, the day the Captain shockingly signed with the Detroit Red Wings.
Over at The 6th Sens dot com, the word “stunned” accompanied three embedded tweets.
Extraskater.com posted this headline on July 5, 2013: Daniel Alfredsson’s “selfish” decisions leaves “devastating” feeling.
Stunned and devastated. Yup. It was a shocker. But wounds have had time to heal – broken hearts have mended. I’m just guessing here, but based on Sundin, Modano and other similar scenarios I would imagine the Ottawa crowd will likely show appreciation Sunday when the highlight reel plays on the big screen before puck drop. After that, during the game, don’t be surprised if the boo-birds starting chirping.