In what was already an eventful day on July 1st, an unexpected announcement came from the Ottawa Senators as Daniel Alfredsson, who spent the previous two seasons as Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations, will be leaving the organization.
Alfredsson issued the following statement on the matter:
"After two enjoyable years learning about the front office of hockey with the Senators, I'm pleased to pass along that I've made the decision to step away from the game and will take this time to evaluate what professional challenge I will pursue next."
"I want to thank the Senators for the opportunity; it has enabled me to understand the type of commitments required to work in hockey should I determine that to be my future path. Our first order of business is getting established in our new home in Ottawa and returning to Gothenburg, with my family, to visit Swedish family and friends for the summer. We look forward to sharing the details of what's next for the Alfredsson family in the future."
With his two-year contract in the front office coming to a close, the details as to what prompted the Sens’ all-time great to not return are very cloudy. The possibilities are endless, making it important not to create assumptions until further details are revealed.
Franchise owner Eugene Melnyk made a comment of his own, saying that “it was [Alfredsson’s] personal choice” to leave the organization, and that he’d been discussing this scenario with him long before the news first broke.
Pierre Dorion was also quoted recently stating that the Senators will potentially look to fill Alfredsson’s role, as well as explore the possibility of adding another professional scout. Although it’s unknown whether a hire will actually be made, an extra staff addition would be long overdue considering Ottawa has one of the smallest scouting departments in the league.
The departure comes as one of many recent changes to the front office staff, as Tom Anselmi replaced Cyril Leeder as President and CEO in January, and former Chief Marketing Officer Peter O’Leary was fired a month earlier.
Unless Alfredsson decides to sign with another organization, expect him to continue working with teams at the international level. He recently served on the advisory board for Team Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, along with other NHL greats Mats Sundin and Nicklas Lidstrom.