Kukla's Korner

KK Members Blog

Questioning God (AKA Daniel Alfredsson)

At some point on Thursday, the Ottawa sports media will be stirred from the sleepy doldrums of summer to meet with the man who was, until recently, the longest serving captain in the NHL and the dominant face of the Ottawa Senators franchise. They'll get to question him on why he chose to break the hearts of his faithful and leave for the apparently greener pastures of the Motor City.

The thing is, in the Ottawa media, questioning Daniel Alfredsson is not exactly the natural state of things. Alfie's word has been held to be gospel truth, his actions sacrosanct, his motives pure. Even when he might have seemed to have mispoke, it would be considered the height of blasphemy to do anything less than rush immediately to his defence. A lack of faith in the cult of Alfie was enough to prove one was (at least) out of touch with reality (or worse still, a Leafs fan).  Little wonder, to those in Ottawa, that I-Phone's helpful homonculus, Siri, famously confused Alfie with God.

Even as Alfredsson prepares to leave town under a cloud of shifting stories and uncertain circumstances, there remain a great many Senators fans who believe he is incapable of being in the wrong. They rush to blame others (and others probably deserve at least some of the blame) for the loss of the beloved captain. Other fans, though, still see questions that only he can answer. It will fall to a group of journalists who have been conditioned not to question him to do just that. To complicate matters further, some members of this group have at times, rightly or wrongly, faced criticisms of their journalistic abilities (which I think is much nicer than saying they've been accused of being illiterate drunks).

To help them out, I thought it would be prudent to suggest some questions that they might be able to put to Daniel Alfredsson when he decends from the heavens one last time, two days hence. Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • At what point did leaving the Senators become a serious possibility?
  • Did you speak to management directly, or was your agent always the intermediary?
  • Did you give the team a number when you first spoke to them after your decision to return for another season in the NHL?
  • What was the number you were looking for?
  • If your priority was to compete for a cup, and you didn't think the Senators could compete, why did you give them a number at all?
  • Did the team make a counter offer, and what was it?
  • Where there further negotiations after the team made its offer?
  • Did you expect there to be a negotiation, or did you expect the team would agree to pay you whatever you asked?
  • Who first raised the issue of the team's overall competitiveness, you or the club/management?
  • Did the team ask you to take a discount to allow them to improve the team?
  • Were other players, potential acquisition targets, mentioned by name?
  • Were you insulted personally by the way negotiations went?
  • Did you feel the team did not value your on-ice contributions enough?
  • Did you break off communications with the team, or was there an open line of communication?
  • Do you feel like you might have overreacted?
  • Did you consider giving the Senators an opportunity to match the Red Wings' offer?
  • Since you signed with the Red Wings, have you had the chance to hear the team/owner's side of the story?
  • Do you agree with their interpretation of how it went down?
  • In hindsight, do you feel like you had the full picture and all the details you would have liked to when you made the decision?
  • Do you feel like this will tarnish your legacy in Ottawa?
  • How do you think this will affect your legacy as an NHL player?

Those are just a few of the questions I'd like to hear Alfredsson answer (or hear him avoid answering, which is probably just as telling). Some I think we know the answer too, but as a fan I need to hear it from him and I don't think I'm alone. If you have any questions, I'd love to hear them in the comments. Alternatively, it's possible that my questions aren't tough enough - and I've also been conditioned to treat Alfie with kid-gloves. Let me know about that, too.

The fact that Alfie agreed to this availability proves that, on some level, he believes his 17 years in Ottawa entitle the fans to some direct answers. However, when he gets up in front of the cameras he may reconsider - and it will be up to those journalists to dig deep into their journalistic abilities and get him to provide. I hope they're up to the task, because I don't think they'll get the luxury of a second coming.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Comments

gowings's avatar

I stand by what I said before (at least, until I hear his side). How can you justify 17 years and leave because of money? I personally think this was in the making (his exit) for quite a while. Something happened in the last year or two and the relationship became sour. I just don’t buy what management is saying…and I have a feeling we won’t know the complete truth from Alfie bc he has class…. Even if I understand that he has the right to play for another team and for more money….all these years with the Sens….something went deeply wrong….

Posted by gowings from MTL on 08/13/13 at 06:46 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Questions like ‘did you have concerns about the Sens management/direction/ownership’ are good ones. I’d also like to know whether he discussed those concerns with his Sens teammates (former, Sens teammates) before or after he made the decision to leave.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/13/13 at 08:18 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About KK Members Blog

If you want to be a hockey writer, be our special guest!

We’re giving the KK community a chance to add their two-bits. Sign up to be a KK member, write your piece, and be heard right here on one of the Internet’s most visited hockey news websites.

 

How to Post

More details here. But basically, just use the posting page to write anything you like on what's going on in the hockey news or your analysis of the NHL and your favorite team.

We only ask that you avoid profanity, and that you're careful to credit your sources -- news media or other bloggers -- and provide links to those other sites when appropriate.

Need help? Check out our help page.