The Canadian Tire Centre was roaring in anticipation before the Senators played a video tribute for their long-time captain. Alfredsson told TSN just before puck drop that it was humbling to see the response from Senators fans and that he was looking forward to everyone turning their focus back to the game at hand.
Alfredsson would get his wish, but not before U2's "A Beautiful Day" acted as the soundtrack for the "Welcome Back Alfie" tribute video:
Including the mock Mats Sundin stick toss and hit from behind on Darcy Tucker? Oh, you crazy scamps.
It wasn't until earlier this week that it was official the Senators were going to honor Alfredsson before Sunday's game. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk confirmed it would happen despite the dicey way the franchise's former captain left town.
During the pre-game, Melnyk was interviewed by TSN's James Duthie and stated that bygones had become bygones.
"I don't think there was ever any anger," Melnyk said. "There was more, basically, the shock value of what transpired. That eventually fades away and you just move on. We have a hockey team that we're putting together that we want to be a contender and it happens in professional sports, in every sport, and you just move on."
With the Senators owner now left the past behind, he said the door is wide open for Alfredsson to see his number retired one day in Ottawa.
"There's no question he's probably the most prominent person in the organization in modern day Ottawa Senators [history]," he said.
"It's not a gimme, but I can tell you what, if I was a betting man, I'd bet on it."
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