NEW YORK – Daniel Alfredsson’s return to the Ottawa Senators is sealed.
Now, the team has to get the captain signed and delivered to a new contract.
“We’re hoping to have a conversation (Saturday),” Senators general manager Bryan Murray said of negotiations with Alfredsson’s agent, J.P. Barry.
Even though Alfredsson has a great relationship with the Senators organization, determining Alfredsson’s contract value might not be simple.
Alfredsson’s previous contract was for four years and $19.5 million, but it was a front-loaded deal, protecting the Senators in the event that the captain retired. As a result, his salary was only $1 million during the 2013 season.
Now, what’s he worth? It’s one thing to measure his statistics from the 2013 season – 10 goals and 16 assists in 47 regular season games and four goals and six assists in 10 playoff games – against those with similar numbers around the NHL. The difficulty is in determining what Alfredsson’s leadership intangibles are worth.
Is he a $4 million player? A $5 million player?
On top of all that, there’s no guarantee that the 2013-14 season will be Alfredsson’s final one, either.
There could be room to discuss a two-year deal, as well.
“It’s just a matter of what we get talking about,” Murray said, when asked if a two-year option was on the table. “At some point, (Barry) and I will get started talking.”
Murray, who had a hunch earlier in the week that Alfredsson would return, wasn’t surprised when the captain announced Friday – via Swedish TV – that he wanted to continue to play.
“I had a feeling after talking to Alfie (two weeks ago) that he would want to try and play again. I’m not overly surprised. He walked out of Ottawa at the end of the year and he looked in great shape and he was excited about some of the young people on our team.”
Alfredsson’s teammates continue to express their excitement at having the captain back.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” said defenceman Chris Phillips, when asked what Alfredsson brings to the team. “He’s one of our top players when he’s in the lineup and he makes us better, but it’s also about all the intangibles. He’s our leader. He talks to the young guys. He shows them a lot, even in practice. It’s a lot more than just performing in games.”
Right winger Chris Neil says few players in the NHL are as composed as Alfredsson.
“His ability to handle the puck, to maintain possession, sometimes for a whole shift, sometimes that gives you momentum,” Neil said. “He can sometimes control the game by slowing it down to his speed. That’s a big part to our success.”