Daniel Alfredsson wouldn’t really leave Ottawa, would he?

Hockey is a business, and with potentially one contract left until his NHL career is at an end, Daniel Alfredsson needs to a be a businessman.

Hopefully that’s the motivation behind this odd game the captain’s playing with the Ottawa Senators. There are multiple reports of other NHL teams making overtures to the unrestricted free agent, and he’s not exactly been forthcoming with a commitment to Ottawa for next season.

Via the Ottawa Sun, Alfredsson said:

The Senators captain told the Gothenburg Times -- a newspaper in his hometown -- Thursday that his No. 1 priority is negotiate a new contract with Ottawa.

Asked where he wished to play, Alfredsson gave an answer that will send shivers down the spines of Ottawa fans: "I don’t wish anything. The only thing I’ve decided is that I want to play for another year. At least.”

The Boston Bruins have confirmed they’re pursuing Alfredsson, who has ties to both GM Peter Chiarelli but also defenseman Zdeno Chara from their Ottawa days. The San Jose Sharks are reportedly also interested in him. Pierre LeBrun reported that the Detroit Red Wings have also reached out. (Hey, a Swede on the Red Wings … what are the odds?)

The Sun reports that the Senators want a deal in the $4 million range, while Alfredsson could be worth upwards of $6 million as a free agent. So perhaps he’s generated a market for his services, or one has formed around his availability.

Could Alfredsson leave the Senators?

It’s hard to imagine a captain abandoning his ship when the Sens could be sailing towards something special this season. It’s hard to imagine a player whose passion for the game was reinvigorated by Paul MacLean and Ottawa’s young stars leaving for elsewhere.

But it’s a business, in the end.

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