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Things were lining up that Daniel Alfredsson was going to join the dying breed of athletes who play their entire careers with one franchise. The Ottawa Senators captain has been with the team since his rookie year of 1995-96 and with his contract up this summer, it seemed like a short one- or two-year extension for the 41-year old winger was destined to cap off his career.
Well, about that. It seems a monkey wrench has been thrown into that plan as the longest-tenured captain in the NHL informed the Senators on Thursday night he would not be returning and has decided to sign with the Detroit Red Wings on a 1-year, $5.5 million deal, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
The contract breaks down as $3 million in salary and $2.5 million in bonuses.
Alfredsson was wooed heavily during the 48-hour "interview" period that teams had leading up to the opening of free agency. The Boston Bruins were the loudest in their proclamations that they wanted Alfie, while the San Jose Sharks and Red Wings were also in the mix.
How could it end this way for Alfie and Senators?
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Senators offered Alfredsson a "blanque check", but the captain decided to move on feeling he had a better opportunity to win a Stanley Cup elsewhere, in his own Ray Bourque moment.
There's likely (has to be) more to this story that will seep out in the coming days, possibly about financial issues involving Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. Ottawa certainly has the cap space to have their captain fill a blank check; so how could they let him walk out the door like this?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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