Daniel Alfredsson‘s latest explanation for leaving the Ottawa Senators and signing with the Detroit Red Wings had initiated some reaction around the league. Specifically involving his agent J.P. Barry, Senators general manager Bryan Murray and even NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
Alfredsson’s recently told the media that neither the Ottawa Senators nor him thought we would play out the final year of his deal, and therefore decided to accept a front loaded contract.
“When I did my last contract for four years ending in the [2012-13] season, I was asked to help the team manage the salary cap by adding on an extra year to my contract,” he said. “I agreed. Each side fully expected I would retire and not play the 2012-13 season, However, after the 2012 season, I told the Sens I wanted to play another season. I also asked that we look at a possible extension for this upcoming season, at a fair amount, to balance out the two years for both of us. [The Senators] agreed.
Front loaded contracts are a tricky way for teams to avoid the salary cap. The way it works is they sign big name players to extremely long term deals, and pay them a lot of money in the first 5 or 6 years. They never intend for the player to play for an entire 14 year. In the final years of the deal they pay them a lot less. It’s something the league knows about but doesn’t condone.The fact that Alfredsson has made it public is a first.
He also explained why a deal did not get done and put the blame on Senators ownership. That prompted Sens owners Eugene Melnyk to fire back. He explained that Alfredsson was lied to by his agent J.P Barry, and a deal could get done and should have gotten done. Money was never an issue. Senators general manager Bryan Murray said owner Eugene Melnyk had given him a “blank check” in order to re-sign Alfredsson.
” For anyone to even suggest the remote possibility that Bryan Murray is not fully honest in his clear recollection of events should be ashamed of themselves. I point the finger squarely on J.P Barry.”
Its a messy divorce right now between the Sens and their beloved captain. The Detroit Red Wings on the other hand could not be happier with their recent addition. Alfie brings veteran experience and will fit perfectly with the Swedish mold of the Red Wing team. The thought of having Datsyuk, Zetterberg and now Alfredsson as a possible powerplay sends chills down my spine.
Circle December 1st on your calendar as that day will be when Detroit heads to Ottawa to face the Sens. Alfredsson’s return. Will you hear boos from the die hard sens fans or will he be cheered and showered with praise. We will have to wait and see.
The former Senators captain is the all-time leader in games played, goals and points for the team. He left the team he’d played 17 seasons for on July 5, saying he felt he had a better chance of winning a Stanley Cup in Detroit.