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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Alfredsson leaves Ottawa, signs with Detroit

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 12:30 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Daniel Alfredsson had spent his 18-year career with the Ottawa Senators, the last 14 with the 'C' on his sweater. At 40, he has had a change of heart.

Alfredsson signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings that is reportedly worth $5.5 million on Friday. He reportedly informed Senators general manager Bryan Murray that he will not return during a conversation late Thursday.

The Boston Bruins also were reportedly in the running for Alfredsson, but the fit with Detroit appears to be a good one.

There is room in the top-six with Valtteri Filppula reportedly signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner are also unrestricted free agents and may not return.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean coached as an assistant to Mike Babcock in Detroit for several seasons, so Alfredsson is familiar with the systems and language that the Red Wings use. He's also joining a roster that is loaded with Swedish players, including Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson.

From a lineup perspective, Babcock might want to try Alfredsson with Zetterberg and Nyquist or perhaps Tomas Tatar. Babcock liked the line of Pavel Datsyuk with Franzen and Justin Abdelkader in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Alfredsson has played 1,178 games with the Senators since 1995 and racked up 1,108 points, including 26 points in 48 games in 2012-13, but he has reached the Stanley Cup Final once (2007) and lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks.

He repeatedly talked about a strong passion for playing in Ottawa because of the young, up-and-coming team led by MacLean, the Jack Adams Award winner for 2012-13. But, perhaps, he believes the Red Wings give him a better chance at chasing that elusive Stanley Cup championship.

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I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the OT winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round