11 days until Ottawa Senators regular season!
Do we really need an introduction for this one? Daniel Alfredsson wore #11 for his lengthy career here in Ottawa. Drafted 133rd overall in the 1994 NHL draft by the Senators, the Swedish right-winger played his rookies season in the 1995-1996 season, when he won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. He recorded 26 goals and 61 points, representing the Senators at the All-Star game. The next season he improved his point totals with 24 goals and 71 points overall and was selected for the All-Star game once again. Beginning the 1997-1998 season with a contract dispute, Alfredsson demanded a trade from the team. He eventually signed after missing the first 5 games of the season and the fans greeted him with a standing ovation. At the beginning of the 199-2000 season, Daniel Alfredsson was named captain of the Ottawa Senators beginning his 14 year run as the team leader.
In 2004, Alfredsson angered Leafs fans who still boo him to this day. Leafs Captain Mats Sundin had broken his stick on an attempted shot in an earlier game. He threw the stick in disgust and it flew into the stand. Sundin received a one game suspension. Alfredsson broke his stick in the next game against Toronto and pretended to throw it over the glass which upset the Leafs fans. Rumour has it the stick is still lodged up the collective ass of the fan base to this day.
Alfredsson’s best offensive season for the team came in 2005-2006 when he was on a line with Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza. Alfie recorded 43 goals and 103 points, along with a +29 rating. That season he also scored the first ever shootout goal in the NHL against the Toronto Maple Leafs. 2007 saw Alfredsson lead the Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals. He scored the OT winner in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to send the Sens to the final round in franchise history. Alfredsson became the first European-born-and-raised captain to lead his team to the finals.
The next few years were marked with injuries which hindered his offensive production, and yet Alfredsson still remained a 40 point player in all but two seasons until the shortened one in 2012-2013. After beating the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2014, Alfredsson called it one of the sweetest moments in his career.
The end of that season marked the beginning of heartbreak for Senators fans. Alfredsson acknowledged he would be returning for another year, but after weeks of speculation and he-said-she-said between the GM Bryan Murray, Alfie’s agent JP Barry, and owner Eugene Melnyk, Alfredsson ultimately signed a one-year $5.5mil contract with the Detroit Red Wings. In his first game back at the Senators arena on December 3, 2013, Alfredsson received a lengthy standing ovation from the fans.
Alfredsson holds many records for the Senators, including:
- most regular season games player, goals, assists, and points
- hightest +/- rating at +42
- most points in a regular season game (3 goals, 4 assists)
- most playoff games played, goals, assists and points
The beloved veteran also hit many milestones with the team, such as:
- 300th goal of his career (Nov.10,2007)
- 500th assist of his career (Jan. 24, 2008)
- 1000th NHL game (Apr. 6, 2010)
- 1000 points (Oct. 22, 2010)
- 400th career goal (Dec. 30, 2011)
Though he did not end his career with the Senators, there is little doubt that his number will be lifted to the rafters and retired in the organization.
Other players to wear #11:
- Jarmo Kekalainen
- Evgeny Davydov
- Mark Freer