Daniel Alfredsson a Senator Once Again
On Thursday night, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced that Daniel Alfredsson had been appointed as senior advisor of hockey operations.
He's back, and likely for good.
Though a role in hockey operations seems like exactly the right spot for the former Senators captain, for all the fans care, Alfie could have taken a minimum wage job at the Farm Boy Fresh Zone. It's just great for him to be present with the team.
Alfredsson return means another very strong voice and big brain in hky ops. Also hugely important mentor to a young superstar captain.— Dean Brown (@PxPOttawa) September 17, 2015
And that's the other beneficiary aspect of Alfie having an influence in the Senators organization again. Not only will it be a contributing factor to the way Erik Karlsson leads this team, but Alfie's sheer existence in Ottawa again might play a large role in keeping the two-time Norris winning defenseman in the nation's capital.
Karlsson's contract is up in 2019, and it's guaranteed that he'll be due for a raise after earning an average of $6.5 million over seven years. It might be easier to persuade the Swedish superstar to sign an extension or take a slight pay cut if needed with Alfie expected to have taken on a bigger role in the organization by then.
Wiercioch With a Hot Take
Everyone quiet. Patrick has something to say.
Patrick Wiercioch (@PattyW46) September 17, 2015
If he were to return to the ice, Alfie would be the second oldest player in the game only behind 67-year-old Jaromir Jagr.
It's a win-win. Alfie appears only on the power play and therefore doesn't put his aching back in jeopardy, all the while playing in at least two more games than Chris Phillips and retaking his throne as the longest serving player in franchise history.
What? A guy can dream.
Bounce-Back Year For Bobby?
In Ian Mendes' latest article for TSN, Bobby Ryan explains how he's taking a step back from social media and trying to "leave the rink at the rink."
"Last year, I was so miserable towards the end with the way things went that I kind of wanted to take a step back and not put anything out there. For me, what I want to do - whoever I play with - I just want to help contribute to that line for a full 60 minutes. That's all I told myself coming into camp." - Bobby Ryan. TSN.
If the former 30-goal scorer says he wants to focus more on the game and less on the noise around him, I think you'll have a hard time finding someone who disagrees with his decision.
There was something off about Ryan last season. He started on an absolute tear, but near the end of the season he looked more sluggish each and every night, which, in hind sight, seemed to be a big contributor to his scoring drought.
But it looks like he's looking to improve in the right areas.
"This summer we focused on core and leg strength and power and I'm certainly more explosive than I have been in the past." - Bobby Ryan. TSN.
After Ryan spent most of last summer recovering from sports hernia surgery, it'll be exciting to see him refreshed and fully ready for the start of the season. Maybe the key to 30 goals this year could be all in the offseason.
Player Point Projections
TSN's Scott Cullen took a stab at predicting the NHL's top 300 scorers and their point totals for the 2015-16 season. Here's how the Senators fared in the top 100:
20th - Erik Karlsson - 67 points
45th - Kyle Turris - 60 points
71st - Bobby Ryan - 54 points
83rd - Mark Stone - 52 points
In true homer fashion, I am going to argue against Cullen's low projections for two of the players above.
Are we really supposed to believe that Karlsson will only have an offensive increase of a single point next season? He's another year away from his Achilles injury, will certainly not be anchored to Chris Phillips, Mark Borowiecki or Jared Cowen for any significant part of the season, and has Marc Methot back beside him for a full year.
As for Stone, a 12 point decrease is ludicrous. Even if you're banking on the infamous sophomore slump, for God's sake, he's 23-years-old.
One Final Thought
It's only fitting that this article end the way it started.
Welcome home, Alfie.