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Fanspeak: Alfredsson voted greatest Senator in franchise history

Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers - Game One Getty Images

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Ottawa Senators

1. Daniel Alfredsson (631)

2. Jason Spezza (132)

3. Alexei Yashin (128)

4. Dany Heatley (97)

5. Marian Hossa (67)

Whether the 2013-14 season was his last or he decides/is allowed to give it one more go, it doesn’t sound like Daniel Alfredsson’s last NHL games will come in an Ottawa Senators uniform. That certainly stings for Senators fans, yet at the same time, it’s clear that “Alf” has accomplished more than anyone else in franchise history.

Actually, it’s not even all that close.

Alfredsson set franchise records – by far – in stats ranging from goals (426), assists (682), points (1,108) and games played (1,178). Chris Phillips will probably catch him in that last category (he’s already at 1,143 games), but no one’s within breathing distance of those other numbers.

Of course, the talented Swede did more than just score.

He was a huge part of some very strong teams that dazzled the Eastern Conference in deep playoff runs, including a run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final (even if that loss to the Anaheim Ducks wasn’t particularly pretty). Alfredsson was known for his all-around play as the franchise saw other talents come and go.

Sure, it’s a shame that he ever left, especially since it delivered a blow to what Silver Seven Sens described as the Alfredsson “mythology” while discussing his return to town last season:

The Alfie legend is certainly part of the mythologizing tendency fans still exhibit when talking about their favourite games and favourite players. I’m guilty of it myself. Collectively, Sens fans were guilty of it the past several years. We talked about Alfie as if he had always been universally loved by Sens fans and as if he would march unquestioning ever forth for the organization. In reality, neither belief was true. For much of his first decade with the team, Alfredsson was a favourite scape-goat. This only increased after the departure of super-villain Yashin. Rather than draw support to Alfredsson, the captain’s C initially proved to be a lightning rod for criticism. He was injured too often, he was too soft, and he was too European. His strong performance in 2006-2007 changed that in the minds of many.

Ultimately, he leaves behind the kind of numbers and memories that speak for themselves.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Some picks for this survey have been easier than others. Despite Bobby Dollas being a +2 in his 16 minutes and 10 seconds in a Senators uniform, I’d still have to go with Alfie on this one.

  2. Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    As a Leaf fan, I’m just glad Ottawa didn’t keep Chara and Hasek for too long.

  3. jason9696 - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    I’m sure Sens fans back in the 90’s would have thought Alexandre Daigle would have been on the list. Maybe even on top off it.

  4. blomfeld - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:37 AM


  5. 950003cups - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Alfredsson has no soul. He’s a ginger. Revoke this award immediately.

  6. govtminion - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    When I clicked on this, I chuckled to myself at the absurd but funny idea of Alexei Yashin somehow being on the list.

    The joke’s on me. There’s a LOT more votes for him than I expected. (Must be the same voters that tried to throw things for Messier on Canucks-Day)

    • spezzdispenser - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      it’s crazy that he’s even that close to Spezza in votes

  7. clpalermo94 - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    This is a nobrainer

  8. ray2013 - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    If he was on one of the teams that are over the cap, or very close to it; yeah. He can’t go overboard. But they have over 14 million in cap space. The second most in the NHL. He plays in a very physical sport, where careers can be over in a minute. Even if he has good health and it stays that way, the amount of time to play in the NHL is finite. If I, or anyone else reading this were given a chance, by taking a few weeks off from work, and we’d get paid an extra million or two, we would so the same. I always support players maximizing their income. And anyone saying otherwise works for the team or isn’t being honest.

  9. ray2013 - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    Whoops it switched articles. After all that. I suck.

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