Daniel Alfredsson is a hero in Ottawa. He is the Ottawa Senators' far-and-away leader in games played (951), goals (361), assists (580), points (941), powerplay goals (111), shorthanded goals (22), game-winning goals (59), game-tying goals (7), shots (2,811), playoff games played (101), playoff goals (43), playoff assists (37), playoff points (80), playoff powerplay goals (21), playoff game-winning goals (11), playoff overtime goals (2), playoff shots (316), just about anything you can think of. He is the face of the Senators franchise, he's active in the community, and he will--hopefully (although hopefully not too soon)--be the first player to suit up every career game as an Ottawa Senator and the first modern-day Senator to watch his number be retired.
For all his respect in the City of Ottawa, though, is Alfredsson respected well enough throughout the league and the hockey world to be Hockey Hall of Fame material once he does, in fact, retire? After the jump, I'll take a look at a few of the key factors in favour of Alfredsson when people look back on his career and consider his case for the Hall.
With this his tenth season as the Ottawa Senators captain, Alfredsson is currently the longest-serving captain in the league. He was associate captain on the 2006 Swedish Olympic men's hockey team, and will likely be assistant captain on the 2010 team, too. I'm sure if you ask any player who's ever played with Alfredsson, each one will say they have respect for him as a leader in the game. The way he gives his all every game is inspiring, even when I'm sitting in the stands or watching on TV; I can't imagine what it would be like to play with him.
Update: Also, as correctly pointed out by a reader, Alfredsson also leads the team off the ice. He was among the first players to defer salary when the Senators were going through bankruptcy in order to allow for the acquisition of Peter Bondra during the team's playoff run. He's also significantly involved in the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, to name just one of the charitable causes he promotes.
2. International play
The HHOF doesn't just recognize NHL play, though. It also recognizes international play, and Alfredsson is has had some of his greatest success playing for Sweden in international tournaments. First and foremost is, of course, his 2006 Olympic gold medal, with Alfredsson as the assistant captain. In 16GP over three Olympic tournaments, Alfredsson has 8G and 12A for 20P, and there is little doubt he'll add to those totals in the 2010 Olympics. He's also got two bronze (1999, 2001) and two silver medals (1995, 2004) in the World Championships. Pretty good numbers in international tournaments, for sure.
Alfredsson also had a taste of international success when he helped his hometown Frolunda Indians to their third-ever Swedish Elite League championship in 2005. He set franchise records for most goals (12) and most points (18) that playoff season, which still stand today.
3. Statistical success
Alfredsson currently sits 10th in career points among active players, and is 85 on the overall list. Without trying to jinx anything, and assuming he plays out the remainder of his contract, he could be expected to climb a good number of spots on that list (knock on wood). He's 14th among active players in playoff points, 124 overall,
4. Major trophies
Alfredsson was the first Senator to win a major NHL trophy when he was awarded the Calder Trophy for his rookie season. He's also been nominated for the Selke Trophy (2005-06, finished fourth in voting) and twice nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy (2003-04 and 2005-06, finished second and fourth in voting, respectively). There is little doubt he was Ottawa's strongest contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy of the 2007 playoffs, and some would argue he was close to winning it despite the fact that the Senators lost in the Stanley Cup Finals that season.
5. Random claims-to-fame
One reason why Alfredsson's already in the HHOF is because of the goal he scored against Toronto on Oct. 5, 2005, the decisive marker in the NHL's first-ever shootout. He was the first European born-and-trained captain to lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals when he did so in 2007. He was honoured with a pillar in the Frolunda Indians' Scandinavium for his great play there.
I'm not going to lie, I think Alfredsson's got everything on his resume to earn himself a spot in the Hall of Fame, and he's still going. Unfortunately, I'm not a member of the selection committee (yet) so my opinion doesn't mean much. Still, I'd be interested in your opinions: Is Daniel Alfredsson good enough for the Hall of Fame?