Daniel Alfredsson received a rousing standing ovation during his role as an assistant for the Ottawa Senators in their game in Sweden on Thursday, marking a symbolic moment in his evolving relationship with the team. Fans have joked he’s sporting a 100% win record, but Alfredsson’s presence on the bench during the Global Series Sweden has sparked discussions about a potentially larger role within the Senators organization.
Senators head coach D.J. Smith pitched the idea to Alfredsson before the team’s departure for Sweden to be part of the coaching staff for two games. It was a request that caught the former Sens icon a bit off guard. But, this isn’t exactly the first time he’s had a role in how the team is performing and it won’t be the first time the players are taking direction from the former face of the franchise.
Alfredsson’s role, previously undefined, gained clarity last week when he addressed the players following Steve Staios’ remarks to the team as the new interim general manager. The Senators, facing frustration and fragility after a series of losses, welcomed Alfredsson’s perspective on the importance of focusing on improvement with attention to detail.
Reflecting on the unexpected opportunity to help coach this week, Alfredsson admitted, “I was a little taken aback, but I thought this would be really fun.” This role aligns with his desire for a hybrid position, combining direct involvement with players and input on other hockey-related matters.
Alfredsson Has Already Held Discussions With Senators About a Bigger Role
Alfredsson had previously engaged with new owner Michael Andlauer over the summer, exploring potential opportunities within the organization. Their positive chemistry and discussions paved the way for Alfredsson’s involvement, even if a specific role and title hadn’t been designated.
Alfredsson has been a consistent presence on the ice since then, gaining the trust of Coach Smith to address issues as he sees fit. Elliotte Friedman highlighted on the 32 Thoughts podcast that Alfredsson’s opinions are valued, emphasizing that while he may lack a formal title, his insights carry significant weight within the organization.
Friedman further noted that Alfredsson’s focus is on development and team improvement, expressing a desire to contribute beyond traditional managerial roles. While his candidacy for the position of General Manager is not ruled out, Alfredsson’s unique blend of on-ice insight and leadership suggests a broader and influential role in shaping the Senators’ future.
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