Squash those Alfie trade whispers

Matt Shumsky February 20, 2013 2

Don’t believe the Alfie trade rumors.
First off, if Daniel Alfredsson wanted to be traded, he would be, end of story.
He has plenty of value to a contending team.
Stanley Cup finals experience.  Over 400 career goals and a personality that can gel with anyone quickly.
But people who are reporting that the Sens will trade captain and franchise ambassador Daniel Alfredsson are ill-informed.
I’ve been in in the Sens dressing room, I’ve spoken to management and players.
I’ve chatted with them off-the-record.
Not once, not ever, has Alfie expressed a desire to play elsewhere.
Until he goes to management and tells them he will move on- it won’t happen.
Chatter behind the scene indicate he has no interest in winning elsewhere, and he hasn’t wavered from that.
Nor will he.
And Sens owner Eugene Melnyk will never ask him to move on and subsequently nor will GM Brian Murray.
It’s a public relations nightmare.
Alfie clarified last season and the season before, that he has no interest in playing in elsewhere.
Detractors will point to the Mats Sundin case a couple years back with the Leafs.
Toronto was left empty handed when number 13 decided to don a Canucks jersey.
Albeit, very similar situation.
Both iconic players on the tail end of their careers with their respective teams struggling to contend.
But here’s the thing.  Sundin didn’t have a family.  Didn’t have a wife that was involved in the community.
Didn’t have kids who grew up in the city, who went to school in the community.
Sundin didn’t have a brother who played junior hockey in the same city and than settled-down in.
I’m talking about Alfie’s brother Henrik, who still lives in Ottawa and helps coach Daniel’s kids hockey team.

Sundin didn’t have a hockey-crazed owner (Melnyk) who referred to him as a God, who went to dinner with each other’s families.

Sundin didn’t have an owner who would call his wife to just ‘chit -chat’. (Melnyk and Alfie’s wife Bibbi are known to catch-up over the phone)

I could go on and on, but the point has been made.
Alfredsson is far more embedded in Ottawa than Sundin was in Toronto.
Alfredsson has already stated that he will always live in Ottawa after his playing career is over.
Sundin no longer lives in Toronto.
It’s just not the same.
My colleague William Wilson penned a worthwhile piece on why Sens should trade Alfie.
Some very valid points, a great read.
Please ask him, if he has ever spoken to Sens management,  gone into the dressing room to interview any players or team officials.
Ask him if Mr. Wilson’s source is just TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Something tells me Eugene Melnyk will make a defiant statment in the press, (as we inch closer to the trade deadline) something along the lines of,  ‘We will never trade fanchise player Daniel Alfredsson.’
Wait for it.
Random Thoughts
Mr. Wilson was correct in stating that Sens should trade D Sergei Gonchar and G Craig Anderson.
Gonchar is in the last year of his deal and Ottawa has some defensive prospects on the way.
I’m more weary of  trading Anderson, but I do see the logic in the move.  He has one more year left on a deal, so his trade would command more in return -seeing as though he would be more than just your typical ‘rent a player’.
But I’m not sold on G Ben Bishop being ‘the guy’.  Some good performances but it’s different when you’re the number one .
While I believe G Robyn Lehner is the netminder of the future, I don’t think its right now.  He needs more time to develop his game.