Yes, seriously, that's the title of this post.
And why not? Alfie decided to part ways with Ottawa, not the other way around.
I sympathize with those who are angry with his decision, but honestly, has Alfie ever done anything that could be considered selfish & detrimental to this team? Certainly not.
Daniel Alfredsson deserves an infinite amount of respect and recognition from Ottawa's fanbase, and on behalf of the ones who will say they will cancel their season tickets, not be fans of the Sens because of what happened, etc. I say "boourns!"
However, this decision was Alfredsson's to make, and that decision is not beyond scrutiny. Is Alfie entitled to go for a Cup with another team, considering all that he's done for the Ottawa Senators? Of course, that's his prerogative. He's given more to this team than any player in the club's history, and he deserves the opportunity to go after the Stanley Cup with another team.
But, upon closer examination, his decision leaves some question marks. Ottawa had the same amount of points as Detroit this season (57), despite the team's seemingly insurmountable injuries. Both teams were eliminated in the second round as well. And yet Alfie feels as if playing with Detroit affords him a better chance of winning the Cup. Needless to say, I'm sure many of us disagree.
I have wondered, very publicly, if the Bobby Ryan trade would have occurred sooner, would that have convinced Alfie to stay? Surely, a winger on the cusp of being elite playing with Spezza would make any player salivate over their improved chances for the Stanley Cup, right? WRONG. Apparently Bryan Murray told Alfie that he could make the Ryan trade happen, and it didn't matter; ALFIE SIMPLY WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW.
The Senators have unquestionably improved with the signing of Clarke MacArthur (40 games, 8G, 12A last season--20G and 23A for 43pts in 73 games in 2011-12) and the trade for Bobby Ryan(11G, 19A in 43 games last season, 31G, 26A in 82 games 2011-12). I'm sure many of you saw the stats and comparisons on TV and Twitter, so I will spare everyone by saying that MacArthur is statistically an improvement over Alfredsson and that Bobby Ryan is the elite winger that Ottawa's sorely missed since Dany Heatley decided he was better than the City of Ottawa deserved.
Ottawa's leadership core has obviously been gutted though, and the team will rely on players like Spezza, Phillips, Neil, and Karlsson for leadership. Hopefully they are able to step up to the plate, to steal a term from another sport.
At the end of the day, Bryan Murray went into painstaking detail concerning what he did to convince Alfredsson to remain an Ottawa Senator, and he elected against it. Instead, he chose to play for the Detroit Red Wings, who are now a divisional rival.
Remember, Alfredsson knew what his tenure on the team meant to the City of Ottawa. He knew how much he meant to his teammates; hell, even to the identity of the team. And that was his choice to make. After 17 years in Ottawa, he deserves to do something that reflects his own self-interest, rather than simply what would be of benefit to the Ottawa Senators.
Having said that, I totally disagree with Alfredsson's perception that Detroit is somehow more of a contender than many of the other teams in the NHL. As mentioned before, they only got as many points as Ottawa's injury-depleted roster last year, and suffered far less in the way of long-term injuries to key players.
Adding Bobby Ryan to this team gives the Senators an "X Factor" fans haven't seen since Dany Heatley. When you compare Ottawa's roster to Detroit's, I honestly can't see how Detroit will be more of a contender for the Cup than Ottawa, Feel free to disagree, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg can only do so much, and Ottawa has proven that it has four lines that can be played without too much hesitation (unless Kassian is dressed).
So, Ottawa Senators fans, our beloved captain has decided to leave us of his own volition. We can't change that; all we could have hoped for was that our team would improve following Alfie's departure, and on paper with Ryan and MacArthur it has.
As much as I'll miss my beloved Daniel Alfredsson, here's to hoping that Spezza, Ryan, Michalek, Karlsson and co. curbstomp Detroit throughout the divisional series next year, and Alfie realizes the mistake he made in leaving the Ottawa Senators--a mistake that falls solely on his shoulders.
And remember, Sens fans, if Detroit sucks next year, we could get Alfie back either at the trade deadline or at the end of the season when his contract expires!
--I'll try to keep things more brief next time, and include more stats. I usually write political blogs, so I apologize if it was too difficult to get through my first ever sports-related blog posting!
--Edit: New team motto: All for one, & one for all?