The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/30/13 at 06:51 PM ET
Daniel Alfredsson made his first "official" (at least media-viewed) appearance at Joe Louis Arena on Friday, and after taking part in an informal skate with the Wings, he spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner about his acclimatization process...
“It felt good to finally come here and skate,” Alfredsson said. “It’s been a few months since I signed, and the only thing that has happened is moving the family. We arrived yesterday, and coming here, skating with the guys, almost makes it feel that it’s real now. I’m excited to be here, and I’m really looking forward to this challenge and what I can do for the team. Hopefully, I can have a good year.”
Last week, Alfredsson and his family were in Detroit looking at houses. His family spent time with Johan Franzen’s family, and Alfredsson came down to the Joe to visit with staff and meet with Wings GM Ken Holland.
“I feel I’m getting use to the surroundings a little bit,” Alfredsson said. “This is a really exciting adventure for me and my family.”
You could tell that Alfredsson was relaxed and just glad to be back on the ice. His decision to leave the Senators after 17 years sent shock waves throughout Ottawa and Canada. It seems a day hasn’t gone by when his defection to Detroit isn’t brought up north of the border.
“I was in Sweden at the time, but I knew it was going to be a big story,” Alfredsson said about his leaving the Senators. “If I was in Ottawa, I may have a different feeling than I have right now.
He holds no will toward the Senators' fans...
“My point of view is that I was able to have an experience and a relationship with the Ottawa fans for such a long time, and that doesn’t happen very often,” Alfredsson said. “I had mixed emotions. I love Ottawa for everything that it has given me. I still love Ottawa.”
But he's looking forward to beginning a new chapter with the Wings:
“In Ottawa, I was treated so well for so many years," Alfredsson said. "You grow accustomed to it that. I took it for granted. Now that I’ve changed teams, I’ve got to prove myself again. The Red Wings fans, I’m sure have heard of me and know of me, but I want to show my best sides. It’s exciting, a little bit nervous, obviously, but it’s given me a little more energy in the summer workouts than I’ve had the last few years.”
Regner continues at length, discussing Zetterberg's role in recruiting Alfredsson, and as Paul noted, Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean addressed Alfredsson's departure back in Canada's capital city. The Canadian Press's Lisa Wallace also took note of MacLean's comments:
"I was disappointed like everybody," MacLean said Friday afternoon. "At the same time Daniel's earned the right to make that decision and he's made it and moved on and we're moving on. We're going to progress without him."
MacLean believes the Senators have enough leadership within its current group of players to fill any void left behind by Alfredsson's absence.
"It's a great opportunity for a number of our players to step into that leadership void and show they can be a bigger part of the team than maybe they've been in the past," MacLean said. "It's not just one guy that's going to step up, one guy will represent as Daniel did with the captaincy, but leadership isn't just a one person thing or a three person thing it's an everybody thing. With me it's everybody and that's still going to be the expectation."
MacLean says he wants a captain that "does it right every day and is a good representative of the team."
"But the most important thing is you have to be here every day and you have to do it right," he added.
Update: MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Regner's story while I was grocery shopping/shopping for the TC trip (sorry!), but I need to point out that this is incorrect:
The Red Wings haven't officially given Alfredsson No. 11. Cleary remains unsigned. The Red Wings have expressed interest in bringing Cleary back, but general manager Ken Holland said it can only happen if he's able to shed salary. And that has been difficult to do.
The Red Wings, if everyone is healthy, would be about $630,000 over the cap and two players (forwards) over the 23-man roster limit.
This Tweet's text...
Leads to an Instagram photo which says the following:
Alfredsson, Zetterberg and Miller on the bench at the Joe for a little scrimmage. Alfredsson will wear 11 in Detroit. #Wings #Alfie #Zetterberg #Miller
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