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Garrioch suggests that Daniel Alfredsson needs to clear the air

This is one of those "tiptoeing through a minefield" topics that makes me cringe to talk about, but...The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch noted that a certain Mr. Daniel Alfredsson was at the Ottawa Senators' practice facility today, and it's likely that Alfredsson's returned to North America to find an abode in Metro Detroit and schooling for his sons in Metro Detroit, so his time in Ottawa will be limited.

Does Alfredsson "owe" the Senators and their fans a press conference to explain his line of thinking in leaving the team to join the Wings? I don't know. But Garrioch certainly believes that now's the time for Alfredsson to clear the air:

While you can expect the media to give chase because he's only spoken publicly once since he agreed to join the Wings, Alfredsson might hold a news conference in Ottawa to explain his decision, and answer any questions.

Instead of doing individuals interviews, Alfredsson has expressed a desire to get everything done at once. He knows questions remain about his departure from the Senators, and it could help to get those out of the way.

Sources say Alfredsson has been thinking "long and hard" in the past month about what he wants to say to the people of Ottawa, some of whom are heartbroken by his decision to sign with the Wings in a bid to win a Stanley Cup.

For those who believe Alfredsson will gather the media so he can hold a tearful farewell, think again. He isn't that type of person, and the message you can expect is he plans to keep his connections with Ottawa.

Alfredsson doesn't owe anybody an explanation, but he hasn't been the type to hide from the media, and answering a few questions could go a long way in diffusing some of the outrage fans have over his departure.

Garrioch continues, and concludes with the following:

Alfredsson normally wouldn't return to North America this early before the season. Generally speaking, he usually arrives in late August, and then skates with his teammates a the Bell Sensplex a few days a week before camp. But these aren't normal circumstances.

That's why the fact Alfredsson was spotted at the Sensplex on Tuesday was so significant. Some don't feel like they've been given a full explanation as to why he doesn't think the Senators can get the job done.

The first question Alfredsson will face: Why? Why, after being the current longest-serving captain in the NHL with the Senators, did he decide to surrender the 'C' and the chance to play his entire NHL career with the same club?

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Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’m gonna cheer everytime Alfy touches the puck.  Get some good karma out there.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/06/13 at 10:53 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Does Alfredsson “owe” the Senators and their fans a press conference to explain his line of thinking in leaving the team to join the Wings?

I think he’s already done that. He explained that he felt his best chance of winning the Cup was with the Wings. I don’t know what else he could say that would make his decision any clearer.

He’s certainly not going to say anything bad about the Senators. He made a positive statement about the Wings and that’s all that needs to be said.

On the other hand, from a Senators’ fan’s perspective, I’d be pissed off too. Just as most Wings fans were when Fedorov left. I get that. If they boo him, so be it. But don’t expect him to trash Ottawa in an effort to justify signing with Detroit. He’s far too classy a guy to do something like that.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/06/13 at 11:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Don’t forget, OTC, Melnyk came forward after CSI Ottawa said he told Alfredsson to write his own check, that he’s not putting anymore money into the Sens moneypit.

Sen fans should be eyeing their ownership and management, not Alfy.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/06/13 at 11:17 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I understand the fact that they’re upset, but to some extent, Alfredsson’s got every right to say, “Look, I’ve got to move my kids, we’ll talk in December.” It’s really up to him.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/06/13 at 11:31 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Don’t forget, OTC, Melnyk came forward after CSI Ottawa said he told Alfredsson to write his own check, that he’s not putting anymore money into the Sens moneypit.

Understood. But, as I said, I don’t think Alfie is going to come out and trash Ottawa – no matter what the reason is. All things considered, I think he’s handled this situation as well as he could, and better than Fedorov did back in his day.

 

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/06/13 at 11:43 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You don’t want to know what was said in Russian. Viktor Fedorov, Sergei’s dad, just laid into the Wings via Sport-Express’s Igor Larin, and Fedorov said some crappy things, too.

It boiled down to dad saying, “Poor, misunderstood Russian player doesn’t get enough ice time/respect” and Fedorov claiming that the Wings had a contract on the table that they agreed he would sign, only to pull it off the table—and Jimmy Devellano insisting that Fedorov told the Wings that he would sign the contract only to sign with the Ducks instead.

It was incredibly nasty. Back in the early days of online translators and when things tended to play out more on sports talk radio (WDFN’s Stoney and Wojo show did a wonderful job of breaking things down), it was the soap opera of soap operas.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/06/13 at 11:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/07/13 at 12:43 AM ET

completely agreed, I just don’t think he OWES the fans a press conference, but he’s a classy guy and will do it anyways.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/07/13 at 12:32 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

It boiled down to dad saying, “Poor, misunderstood Russian player doesn’t get enough ice time/respect” and Fedorov claiming that the Wings had a contract on the table that they agreed he would sign, only to pull it off the table—and Jimmy Devellano insisting that Fedorov told the Wings that he would sign the contract only to sign with the Ducks instead.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/07/13 at 12:54 AM ET

Frankly, his father was right. Fedorov unquestionably didn’t get the amount of respect he deserved in this town—that’s not even up for debate as far as I’m concerned—and arguably didn’t get enough ice time, particularly later in his tenure. He was one of the most versatile, best skating players to ever play the game. He was a horse. He could’ve played 30 minutes a game.

They were playing him 10 minutes a game some nights the year his contract was up, when he was leading the team in scoring. It was f*cking ridiculous.

Again, it boils down to what I’ve said so may times before about European players, especially Russians: If Sergei Fedorov’s name was Johnny Nash and he was from Hamilton, Ontario, none of this would be that big of a deal. And people act like Viktor Fedorov was the first hockey dad to publicly defend his son in such a way. But his crime, of course, wasn’t that he defended his son in an outspoken manner, his crime was that he did it in another language to the foreign media.

Yes, the Fedorov situation probably could’ve been handled better by both sides, but there is no question in my opinion that there’s a serious double standard at work as well.

And as a post script: I don’t believe a single word that comes out of Jimmy Devellano’s mouth, so who knows what happened with that contract.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 08/07/13 at 10:12 AM ET

Avatar

and arguably didn’t get enough ice time, particularly later in his tenure.

In 01-02 he was second in ice time among forwards on a veritable all-star team.  Hard to argue that he wasn’t given enough ice time…

Posted by Garth on 08/07/13 at 11:54 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

In 01-02 he was second in ice time among forwards on a veritable all-star team.  Hard to argue that he wasn’t given enough ice time…

Posted by Garth on 08/07/13 at 12:54 PM ET

Yeah, and in 02-03…the season we all talk about when we talk about Fedorov’s complaints about ice time and contract issues…he was inexplicably getting 10 minutes a night a lot of nights even though he was the best player on the ice.

He wasn’t complaining about ice time in 01-02 because they were actually playing him then.

I realize it was a long time ago, but there’s been a lot of revisionist history that’s built up regarding Sergei Fedorov around these parts. It’s a shame, too, because he’s probably one of the 5 or 10 greatest pure athletes this town has ever seen. Then again, we’re talking about a town where a lot of people hate Barry Sanders for f*ck’s sake.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 08/07/13 at 12:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

They were playing him 10 minutes a game some nights the year his contract was up, when he was leading the team in scoring. It was f*cking ridiculous.

I can’t find a single game in the 2002-03 regular season where he played less than 14:59. Only Nick Lidstrom played more total ice time that season than Fedorov and no forward played more per game.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8446788&view=log&season=20022003#&navid=nhl-keymatch

He played only 13:57 against Anaheim in game 2 of the playoffs that year, but that’s after going for 31:48 in game 1.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/07/13 at 01:06 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/07/13 at 02:06 PM ET

That’s weird, because I found the wire report from after a game where he complained about ice time and it claims he only played 11:53, while your link says he played 14:59.

But it also claims he was first on the team in forward ice time (4th overall), so you make a good point.

Looks like I’m propagating some revisionist history myself…definitely not how I remember it. I remember specifically wondering why Fedorov wasn’t on the ice more that year.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 08/07/13 at 02:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 08/07/13 at 03:16 PM ET

That guy behind Shane Hnidy in that picture.  He’s… he’s seen some things.

I’ve always sided a bit more with the organization than Fedorov, especially after guys like Larionov and Fetisov started saying stuff about how he never really bought in. I still do think that the team bears plenty of responsibility for the situation in 97 and with the contract situation that led Fedorov to sign in Anaheim in 2003. 

I’m not mad at Fedorov or anything and I can see his side of it. I’d happily put his jersey up in the rafters if he’d actually ask to have it done. I’d also just as happily give his number to anybody else who wants it until such a time that he and the organization have that kumbaya moment.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/07/13 at 02:40 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.