Daniel Alfredsson: Senator For Life

Spencer CallaghanAnalyst IOctober 30, 2008

Next stop, mayor of Ottawa.

After concluding a brief and amicable round of negotiations, Daniel Alfredsson has signed a four year, $21.6 million contract extension that will see him accomplish a rare feat in pro sports these days—to retire having only played for one team his entire career.

The deal replaces the existing three option years that were remaining on his previous deal that would have paid him $3.8 million, but also could have been declined had the super-human Swede played 70 games and scored 70 points this season.

Given the fact that earlier in the season he came back from knee surgery after missing only one game, I wouldn't bet against him.

Daniel Alfredsson is the epitome of a team player, when the news of a contract extension first surfaced earlier in the season, many pundits predicted Alfie could command $7-10 million from the Senators on a long term deal as many point-per-game player do these days.

However those of us who actually knew the situation and knew Alfie (though unfortunately not personally...Alfie return my calls please), always knew it would take far less to ensure the best captain in Senators history remained in Ottawa.

The $5.4 million cap hit is only $1 million more than his current tag of $4.4 million, leaving the Sens with plenty of room to manoeuvre in what will prove to be difficult times ahead for the NHL.

Leaving money on the table to ensure that the team can prosper is not new for Alfie. In 2003 when the Senators were forced to declare bankruptcy Alfredsson deferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary, and led the way for teammates to do the same, to help the Sens pay their bills and stay afloat.

During the lockout, Alfredsson was a member of the NHLPA board of directors where he again put the good of the game ahead of himself by voting for a 24 percent salary rollback even though he had just signed a five year, $32.5 million contract extension. That decision cost Alfredsson over $7 million in lost salary.

So it comes as no surprise that Alfredsson, who has also reportedly been assured of a front office position with the Senators when he retires, once again put the team ahead of himself.

With all the talk about Mats Sundin that has been making my ears bleed over the past few months, Daniel Alfredsson will go down in history as the better, more accomplished and more dedicated Swede of this NHL era.