OTTAWA — After 17 seasons, Daniel Alfredsson is leaving the Ottawa Senators.
Alfredsson chose to sign a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, continuing his Stanley Cup pursuit wearing an unfamiliar jersey. He played all 1,178 games of his NHL career with the Senators, putting up 426 goals and 682 assists.
Alfredsson made the decision to leave within the last week, citing the Red Wings being closer to a championship.
“I have made a very difficult decision yesterday to leave Ottawa after 18 years and 17 seasons,” Alfredsson said. “I’ve played 18 years and I haven’t won a Stanley Cup. … I’m really excited to get this opportunity at this stage of my career to go for a Stanley Cup and fulfil a long-time dream.”
The 40-year-old right wing joins fellow Swedes Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Mikael Samuelsson, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson in Detroit. Alfredsson spoke with Zetterberg a few times before deciding to sign with the Red Wings.
Alfredsson said at the end of the season that the one thing he had yet to accomplish was win a Stanley Cup. The Red Wings were eliminated in the conference semifinals just like the Senators but won the Cup in 2008.
Alfredsson only recently told the Senators he would play the 2013-14 season instead of retiring. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray seemed so confident Alfredsson would return that he said in a statement in late June that the long-time captain was “committed to play next year for the Senators.”
Instead, he’ll be playing for the Red Wings.
Detroit also signed centre Stephen Weiss, who fills a void as a second-line centre after the Red Wings and Valtteri Filppula couldn’t agree to a deal.
The 30-year-old Weiss was limited to playing just 17 games during the shortened season in Florida, a year after he had 20 goals and 57 assists for the Panthers. He had wrist surgery in March, three months before the Red Wings wasted no time adding him to the roster.
Weiss has 145 goals and 394 points in his career that began with the Panthers during the 2001-02 season. He had a career-high 61 points during the 2008-09 season and scored a career-high 28 goals the next year.