Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson insisted that he left the Senators after 17 years of calling Ottawa home because he wasn’t immediately given an extension.
According to his version of the story, he had agreed with the Senators to retire before the 2012-13 season in order to help the team manage the salary cap.
When he changed his mind, negotiations for an extension were stalled.
He then started hearing from other teams as free agency dawned.
Among those who contacted him were the Detroit Red Wings, where he had friends and whose style of play was to his liking.
Alfredsson said he was delighted by the Wings’ enthusiasm about him joining their team.
“That call opened my eyes to a possibility I would have never thought of: to play another year, or maybe even two, with another great team,” said the Swede.
Alfredsson signed a one-year contract worth $5.5 million with the Red Wings on July 5, the first day NHL free agents could sign with other teams.
But according to Senators general manager Bryan Murray, owner Eugene Melnyk had given him a “blank check” on July 5 in order to re-sign Alfredsson.
Murray said that the team’s intention all along was to re-sign Alfredsson. During negotiations Alfredsson asked for $7 million for one season or $12 million for two, the latter broken down to $5 million per season with a $2 million signing bonus.
The Senators countered with $4.5 million per season.
But Alfredsson replied that he was looking at other options with “a better chance to win a Stanley Cup on a more veteran team.”
Murray said the Senators felt bad with the way Alfredsson reacted.