Daniel Alfredsson to Return for 17th NHL Season With Senators
Ottawa, BC, Canada
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is raring and ready to start his 17th season in the NHL.
"I'm excited to get ready for another season," Alfredsson said as he announced his return to the Senators, the only team he has played for professionally.
"I've been training for about a month and a half, and my body feels a lot further ahead of where it was last year at this point. I expect to come into camp stronger and fitter than I did last year," he added.
Alfredsson, who turns 40 in December, was a sixth-round pick (133rd overall) by the Senators in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He is a six-time All-Star who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1996.
Alfredsson, Senators' captain since 1999, is the team's franchise leader in a number of categories, including games played (1,131), goals (416), assists (666) and points (1,082).
Last season, the 39-year-old Alfredsson recorded 27 goals and 32 assists in 75 games, helping the Senators secure the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth.
"Daniel's contributions to this hockey team cannot be understated," general manager Bryan Murray said. "He is a leader and a mentor to many of our young players. Daniel is also a great hockey player and we expect him to return and continue to be one of our best players as we look to improve on last year's accomplishments."
"Daniel is an exceptional captain whose commitment to his teammates and to the great City of Ottawa is second to none," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said. "Daniel expects a lot out of himself both on and off the ice so I fully understand how important a decision this was for him and his family. I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome and look forward to Daniel having a great year and adding to his long list of extraordinary achievements with our hockey club."
When the Senators lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, Alfredsson said he needed time to determine whether he still had the fire to return for a 17th year.
Before making a decision, Alfredsson said he consulted his wife and four sons, who convinced him to keep playing.
"My kids have (had) me playing the whole time," Alfredsson said. "They've been bugging me and I think they would have been really disappointed if I didn't play. And my wife and I, we feel that our family situation will be easier this season coming up than it was last year, with a newborn baby and sleepless nights.
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