Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is in his 17th consecutive season with the same team, but according to rumors, he may not finish the year in the only jersey he has ever worn.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported, “The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins will both consider Alfredsson, 40, as a possibility at the April 3 trade deadline if the Senators aren't in the race anymore.”
Going to a franchise that has brought home a Stanley Cup in recent seasons is certainly intriguing, but leaving the city he’s been in since 1995 would surely be an emotional event.
Here are the potential scenarios for Alfredsson, ranked in order of what will be best for his career.
3. Staying with the Senators
This is the worst-case scenario only if the Senators are undoubtedly out of the playoff race. With the trade deadline scheduled for April 3, and Ottawa’s season ending on April 27, the front office will be able to have a clear idea of the team’s prospects before executing a deal.
But if Craig Anderson is in goal, and the team still has a mathematical chance to make the playoffs, staying is the only option.
Anderson has started the season in incredible form. Although a recent ankle injury threatens to slow him down, it is unlikely to keep him off the ice for a long period of time. NHL.com notes that he is listed as day-to-day.
With a hot goaltender, anything is possible in the playoffs. No netminder has played better than Anderson this season, and it would be a true shame for Alfredsson to miss out on any of Ottawa’s potential glory.
2. Getting Traded to the Boston Bruins
If the Senators are out of the playoff race, Alfredsson’s leadership and experience ensure that he will be traded to a contender.
Right now, the teams rumored to be interested are two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Among these two franchises, Boston is a worse option.
While the Bruins certainly have a balanced and extremely competitive squad, the only factor Alfredsson should take into consideration when looking at possible destinations is which team gives him the best chance to win a title.
If the Senators have multiple options for where to send Alfredsson, his many years of service to the franchise will certainly earn him some say in the matter. If he is able to voice his opinion, he should steer clear of the Bruins.
1. Getting Traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins
If Alfredsson is going to be traded, his best option is to join the most exciting collection of attacking talent in the NHL.
With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh, that is the place for Alfredsson to go if he wished to maximize his chances to win a Stanley Cup before retiring.
At 40 years old, he does not have much time left as a professional hockey player. Riding a hot goaltender is one way to end up hoisting the best trophy in sports, but hitching your wagon to the most talented player in the game is also a wise strategy.
Having the reigning Hart Trophy winner to help out the cause is also an added bonus, and if Alfredsson does leave Ottawa, Pittsburgh is undoubtedly his best landing spot.