I listened to your conference call the day after you signed with the Detroit Red Wings. You sounded a bit down except when you talked about playing with Henrik Zetterberg. I guess you like him more than me? I guess that’s who you left me for?
Maybe that’s unfair.
Look, Alfie, you don’t actually know me, we never met, and I guess I don’t actually know you either, not for real; but I loved you, man. I really did.
You were my favourite athlete of all time, in any sport, for any team. You made me feel like being a Sens fan was some noble thing because of the way you played, the way you treated the fans and the media, and the way you devoted yourself to your family and your community.
You were it, man. You were THE guy. You were going to be the guy I would tell my kids about if I ever find a lady to bear them for me.
You were the example for the rest of us. You were the only person I could point to and say “Be like him, in everything that you do.” But I can’t do that anymore.
Look, dude, I’m not mad at you, I don’t think, but I am sad at you. That’s right. I’m sad AT you: because of you, and for you.
I’m sad because of the future I thought we were going to have together that is now gone, forever. Maybe that future was never real (and I guess that’s true) but I thought that you would remain with the Sens organization even after you retired and if you didn’t get a Cup ring as a player, you would get one (At least one!) as an executive with the Ottawa organization.
But I don’t think that’s going to happen now. I don’t think you’re ever coming back.
I guess you taught us a lesson that the name on the back of the jersey is less important than the crest on the front of it. You taught us that lesson the hard way, but now we know. So thanks for that, Alfie.
I just don’t understand though: Detroit? They barely made the playoffs last year! It doesn’t make sense that you think they’re that much better than us. It’s like Chewbacca being from Endor: it just doesn’t make sense.
Maybe we have different ideas of what it means to be a champion. In my mind, you were always a champ, you were OUR champ, but maybe you didn’t feel like a champion. Maybe we could have done more for you, like get Gary Roberts instead of Oleg Saprykin the year we went to the finals. But other than that, man, I don’t know what more we could have done to show you what you mean to us. Or, rather, what you meant to us.
I hope you find what you’re looking for in Detroit, unless it means you have to come through us to get it. Because listen up, Danny Boy, you have crossed over, not just to another team, but to a division rival. There is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that we will let you cruise through us en route to a Cup.
Also, you do realize that Paul “Jack Adams” MacLean was the assistant coach for Mike Babcock in Detroit when they won the Cup in 2008, right? That was the only Cup victory for Babcock. You basically left “new Detroit” for “old Detroit”. Good luck with that.
Look, Alfie, I don’t want to end things on a bad note. I’ll still chant your name when you come back to Ottawa in your Red Wings uniform, but I’ll only do it once, at the beginning of the game, and then I’ll never do it again.
Goodbye Alfie. I loved you. We loved you. And we’ll miss you.