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The Malik Report

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk promises a fitting tribute for Daniel Alfredsson on Sunday

Despite Daniel Alfredsson's 2 shots and 5 total shot attempts, I'll readily admit that #11 in red and white looked like he was already preparing for Sunday's reunion affair in Ottawa.

Perhaps his distraction involved the facts that a) his wife and four sons are going to Ottawa for the weekend, and b) Alfredsson and his teammates aren't having much of an "American Thanksgiving" as Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels reported that the team's going to practice on Thursday and take a late afternoon flight to Long Island ahead of Friday's 4 PM tilt against the Isles.

We already know that Sunday's game is going to give Alfredsson and Senators fans some closure, but he and his Red Wings teammates will be skating into a media maelstrom on Saturday and Sunday (the game starts at 5 PM on Sunday afternoon), the Ottawa media machine's already cranked up the hype machine, and the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren reports that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk helped spin the wheel by stating the following on Ottawa's Team 1200 radio station:

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says former captain Daniel Alfredsson will be suitably honoured with a pre-game tribute video when he returns to the Canadian Tire Centre with the Detroit Red Wings Sunday.

“We all recognize what Daniel has done for Ottawa and what he means for the fans,” Melnyk said in a wide-ranging interview on TSN 1200 Wednesday afternoon. “There’s certainly going to be a recognition for what he has done for us. I think he’ll be happy. The fans will be happy. We’re ready to give his due recognition.”

It’s an olive branch of sorts, considering the bitterness which existed following Alfredsson’s departure to the Red Wings as a free agent in the summer. Melnyk had suggested the outgoing captain wanted too much money, while Alfredsson said the organization failed to honour an unwritten agreement to compensate him for earning less than his market value in his previous contract.

Ironically, there will be a significant financial boost for Melnyk and the Senators due to Alfredsson’s return. His appearance will likely result in just the second sellout of the season in what Melnyk acknowledges has been a frustrating start in terms of ticket sales.

Melnyk says there are several reasons for the poor attendance, including a “funky,” unconventional early-season schedule that took the team to California, a “finicky” fan base and a policy change that means fewer discounted tickets are available.

“Of course, I am (disappointed),” said the Senators owner. “But if you buy a ticket, that’s it. We’re not giving away tickets. What you’re seeing is truly the fan base, which we want to grow off of. We’re doing well with season tickets.”

I'll let you read the rest of Warren's story if you wish, but let's just say that it remains business as unusual in Melnykville.

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About The Malik Report

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.