Ottawa Senators fans were abuzz after former team captain Daniel Alfredsson was spotted at Bell Sensplex wearing the jersey of his former team during an informal skate.
Alfredsson, 40, was a lifelong Senator until having a bad split with the team and signing with the Detroit Red Wings in July. He was drafted by the franchise in 1994, made his debut in 1995, and was a six-time All-Star for the Sens. He spent 13 of his 17 seasons with the team as a captain.
During a skate with some NHL players in Ottawa, Alfie was wearing a Sens jersey and Sens colors. Fans felt that was rubbing salt in an open wound and had a harsh response on social media.
Alfredsson signed a four-year deal with Ottawa that kept him under contract through last season. Both he and the team only planned on him playing through 2011-2012, but he agreed to sign for 2012-2013 for only $1 million to give the Sens cap relief. When Alfredsson decided he wanted to play 2013-2014, he hoped the Senators would pay him extra for the season to balance out the discount he gave them the previous year. That didn’t happen.
Alfredsson told the media last week that he wanted $7 million from the team, while Ottawa was offering $4.5 million. Alfredsson signed with the Wings for $3.5 million in base pay and $2 million in easily obtainable bonuses.
I’m guessing Alfredsson wore the Senators colors and jersey out of convenience, habit, and because his heart is still with the team. He’ll always be a Senator even if he’s on the Wings. But after hearing the fan reaction, maybe he’ll realize he can’t do that without hurting them and will avoid it for the future. That’s a lesson Colin Kaepernick learned earlier this offseason.