With the 2011-2012 NHL season quickly approaching, the minds behind a few of the best Ottawa Senators Blogs on the interweb have gotten together to answer the five major questions going into this season.
With the storied career of our captain coming to an end this season or the next, should Ottawa trade Daniel Alfredsson this year to a Cup favourite and give him a chance to have his name on Lord Stanley?
Here's what the best Senators blogs got to say:
Peter from Silver Seven,
I'm not sure we can say for sure Alfie's career will end before two seasons are up, but I'd agree with the general consensus that if it's up to the captain if he wants to get dealt. I don't think he's got any desire to, though, so I don't think he's going anywhere.
You can follow Silver Seven on Twitter here.
Jeremy from Black Aces,
I don't think the player himself, the management or the fans have any appetite to say goodbye to Alfredsson. Too many people are already writing his hockey obituary but Alfie could play another three seasons if the team starts to win again and it remains fun for him to stick around. If Mark Recchi can do it, a guy like Alfie with a similar stocky physique and drive to compete can do it too. His value to this team far outweighs any kind of compensation they would get from another team that wouldn't be able to guarantee a Cup to Alfie anyways. Those types of moves never seem to feel right anyways. Ray Bourque may be the one example where it truly worked but that was more like a fairy tale than any kind of template for other stars in the waning years of their career. I bet Mike Modano wishes he retired a Dallas Star instead of being an odd fit in Detroit this past season.
You can follow Black Aces on Twitter here.
Stephen from SensTown,
This is a tough one to answer. It really depends on what perspective you want to take. He only has a few years left and clearly we will not be winning the cup in the time remaining in his career and I think many of us would like to see him have another shot at winning the ultimate prize, because lord knows he deserves it. But on the other hand, it would be awfully tough to see the captain in any uniform but ours wouldn't it? And really he's one of the only reasons to come out to watch a game at the moment for many (not myself). He's one of the few "stars" along with Spezza and Karlsson that people instantly recognize and want to lay down their money to see.
I suppose it would also depend on what the return of an alleged trade would bring in. I imagine we would be quite shocked at what we'd get in return for someone his age. In my opinion it wouldn't be worth it and we keep him here to finish his career as a Senator. The only way you consider really moving him is if you're getting a top end young player in return (won't happen) or if Alfredsson goes to management and asks out for one final shot at Lord Stanley.
I'd REALLY like to see him remain a career Senator but I feel he's earned the right to finish his career how he wants and would wish him well if he wanted out, no matter how hard it would be to see him in another jersey.
You can follow SensTown on Twitter here.
Nichols from The 6th Sens,
Speaking strictly from an asset management perspective, it would probably be the most logical course. Ottawa's a rebuilding organization that probably won't be in contention by the time that Alfie hangs ‘em up. With two seasons left on a relatively cap friendly contract and assuming he's healthy and contributing, this would be the season when he'll have the highest trade value. (As opposed to trading him next season.) Oh, if only it was this simple... but it's not. Alfredsson is a selfless captain who is the face of the franchise and a staple within this community who seems destined to take on some organizational role once his playing days are over.
Will they trade Daniel Alfredsson?
Regardless of how often the TO media advocates the benefits of moving Alfie, probably not. Unless, barring some change of heart, the captain privately approaches management and requests to be dealt. Ownership has already gone to great lengths to indicate that he won't be moved and it'd be a PR disaster if they were the ones to ask him if he'd be interested in moving on.
You can follow The 6th Sens on Twitter here.
Dave from SensChirp,
This is a question that I plan to dodge until the moment I am given no other choice but to consider it. As I'm sure is the case for many Sens fans, the thought of Daniel Alfredsson in another team's uniform just doesn't register for me. He has been the face of this franchise for so long and his #11 will one day hang in the rafters at SBP. Alfie has a spot with this franchise as long as he wants it and that includes his career after hockey. With all that said, if the Sens were out of the playoff picture, Alfie was healthy, the return was there AND most importantly, Alfredsson asked to go elsewhere, then I guess Murray has to consider it. For all Alfie has done for this city and franchise, he has earned the right to call his shot. Gut feeling says he wouldn't ask for a trade though.
You can follow SensChirp on Twitter here.
Tony from SenShot,
With only two more years left on Alfie's current contract, and with injuries beginning to pile up, Sens Army needs to come to the realization that we are witnessing the end of our beloved captain's career. Alfie is still an impact forward and can still produce at this level, and it's safe to say that he is not hanging on too long, a la Rob Brind'amour.
But with Ottawa in the midst of a rebuild, Ottawa is a few years away from even thinking about contending. If Ottawa were to consider trading their captain, I think it is done as a favor to Alfie. He will never ask for a trade, and I think it may be on the organization to approach Alfie about joining a new team. I don't think any Senators fan will think anything less of Alfie if he is shipped to a contender to have a greater chance to get his name on the Cup.
The other issue at hand here is the fact there could be a lockout at the end of this upcoming season. With the CBA set to expire next summer, this may be Alfie's last chance to play in the league, as well as for the Cup. If there is a lockout, I see Alfie and a number of other older players retiring instead of sitting on the sidelines training until the lockout is over.
With all this in mind, I don't believe Alfie will be traded this year. However, if he were to be traded, I would not feel any ill will toward him or the organization. It would be hard, but I would cheer for whatever team Alfie suits up for as he pursues his first Stanley Cup.
You can follow SenShot on Twitter here.
Now that you know what we think about Alfredsson's future, tell us what you think.
Toon in next Wednesday for our second roundtable question, where we discuss the future of a number of players. 'Til next time, GO SENS GO!!!