Last week, Ian Mendes dropped quite the bombshell on Ottawa Senators fans. It wasn't a bombshell in that it was totally unexpected, but it was simply big and exciting news:
Alfredsson on the verge of returning to Sens organization. The latest on TSN.ca http://t.co/UTbu7EpTFa— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) August 21, 2015
Ever since Daniel Alfredsson came back to the Senators to retire with them and go out for one last skate, it seemed inevitable that he would eventually get a spot working in the organization in some capacity. Everything was water under the bridge, and the only thing that was delaying his official return was if he wanted to take a break.
He is obviously eager to get back in the game and it's fantastic news to see that he came back to Ottawa for a job. A year and a half ago I wouldn't be so sure about his return, but now his one season in Detroit seems like ages ago. It's been a week since that Mendes tweet, and there hasn't been any new information about his position. So I want to ask you: what should Alfredsson's role be with the team?
He obviously won't be on the bench next season for Ottawa, but he may help out here or there with the players. Plus, he may eventually get a chance to be an assistant coach, so we can't rule that out. I'm sure some people would want him and his leadership skills behind the Senators bench.
President of Hockey Operations
This is a role that Bryan Murray currently has, although of course this will be his last year at the helm. I'm not sure how much Alfredsson can be trusted in terms of roster moves and player evaluations, but this role is at least a possibility in a year or two if not right now.
Assistant General Manager
Ottawa already has Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee as AGM's for 2015-16, but that will only last for one year I would presume. Alfredsson wouldn't be entrusted with such a large role, as he'd be able to work alongside Dorion and Lee and learn the ins and outs of being a manager. It could be a good entry-level job.
I'm not sure if that's what the title would be, but Alfredsson's job may just be an assistant to the team who helps on a broad spectrum of things. He could be hired just to be another voice in the room, but I'm sure they would find a fancy name for that. This would show that they don't 100% trust him yet, and they want to see if he can handle the front office.
So there are four options which I think are all very plausible at least at some point. There may be something else that he could do with the organization (such as a new position), but it's hard to come up with imaginary jobs.
If there's any other role you think Alfredsson should (or will) play in the front office, let me know in the comments. I can't wait to see the responses, as it's a whole different arena when former stars turn into staff members. We've seen plenty of former players recently get jobs in a front office, like Steve Yzerman, Trevor Linden, and Brendan Shanahan.
I'm not sure about Linden yet, but Yzerman and Shanahan have done a great job so far. It'll be interesting to see how Alfredsson transitions and if he actually is cut out for the job.
Regardless, it sure is great to have him back.