On Thursday, Daniel Alfredsson signed a one-day contract with Ottawa so he can officially retire as a Senator before their game against the New York Islanders.
The announcement will be made before the game, and Alfredsson will take part in the pre-game skate with most of his former teammates.
Sens sign Alfredsson to one-day contract for tonight so he can salute fans.
— Hockey Central (@SNHockeyCentral) December 4, 2014
It’s a great gesture by the Senators, especially since Alfredsson and general manager Bryan Murray didn’t have the cleanest of breakups following Alfredsson’s departure from Ottawa during the summer of 2013.
It is good to see the two sides bury the hatchet so Alfredsson can be honored for his illustrious career, and it also gives the 41-year-old a chance to salute the fans of Ottawa for all of the support he has received over the years.
In honor of Alfredsson’s retirement, I have compiled the top five goals of Alfredsson’s career during his one-year stint with the Red Wings. The big thing I noticed in his time with Detroit is he was always in the right place at the right time. He was constantly hovering around the net either putting in a rebound or waiting for the perfect pass so he could rip a slap shot past the opposing goalie.
He wasn’t in Detroit for long, but he had some memorable goals in that short time period. Alfredsson finished his career with 444 goals, 713 assists for 1,157 points and a plus/minus of plus-155 in 1,246 career games.
Here are the top five goals of Alfredsson’s career as a Red Wing.
First Goal as a Red Wing
Alfredsson had five points in his first six games as a Red Wing, but none of them were goals, until October 15, 2013, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Like I said earlier, Alfredsson always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. This goal is a perfect example of that, as a scramble in front of the net leads to a puck being poked away from the crowd and Alfredsson is right there to slap it past Sergei Bobrovsky for his first of 18 goals he would score with the Red Wings.
Winter Classic Goal
The goal Alfredsson scored in the Winter Classic wasn’t a highlight reel goal by any means, but it was the magnitude of the event that puts it in the top 5. A very cold, snowy January 1, 2014, afternoon with temperatures dipping below zero thanks to the wind chill.
It was a magical day for the players and hockey fans alike, and Alfredsson had the pleasure of scoring the first NHL goal at Michigan Stadium. He basically redirected a pass by Henrik Zetterberg past Jonathan Bernier, but it was in front of 100,000-plus screaming fans in the largest stadium in the country.
What a sight it was.
Breakaway Goal vs. New York Islanders
This goal was a throwback to Alfredsson’s storied past. A fantastic pass by Brendan Smith springs Alfredsson on a breakaway, and the Swede snaps a shot over the catching glove of Kevin Poulin to notch his first of two goals on November 29, 2013.
We didn’t see many of these kinds of goals from Alfredsson later in his career, but he still had a heck of a shot for a guy in his 40s.
Empty-Net Goal vs. Ottawa Senators
This was simply an empty-net goal, but it was significant because Alfredsson had scored a goal against every NHL team in the league with this goal against his former club on December 1, 2013.
Plus, Alfredsson got revenge on his former team that decimated the Red Wings 6-1 in a game back in October.
Overtime winner vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
This was one of the flukiest goals Alfredsson ever scored, but it was notable because the Red Wings were chasing a playoff berth. Injuries had derailed the team for much of the season, but the one constant was Alfredsson.
He collected a puck from Gustav Nyquist with seconds remaining, fired a shot on goal that bounced off a Pittsburgh defender and past Marc-Andre Fleury with 0.4 seconds remaining to give the Red Wings an important 5-4 overtime win on March 20, 2014.
Detroit had 75 points coming into the game, five behind Toronto and one behind Columbus and Washington for the two wild card spots.
Both Columbus and Washington won that night to stay one point ahead, but it was an important two points that helped the Red Wings clinch a playoff berth for the 23rd consecutive time.
The Senators released a welcome-back video when it was announced he would be retiring as a Senator. It will no doubt be an emotional night for Alfredsson and the entire Ottawa hockey community. Thanks for the memories, Alfie.
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Tom Mitsos is a Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter @tom_mitsos.