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Daniel Alfredsson to have No. 11 retired by Senators

Longtime Ottawa captain is franchise's all-time leader in goals, assists, points

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, their all-time leader in goals, assists and points, will have his No. 11 retired before a game against the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 29.

Alfredsson, who was Senators captain for 13 seasons, is the first player to be honored by a volunteer committee of team executives, civic leaders and media representatives that was formed last year.

"I'm extremely honored and humbled," Alfredsson said Tuesday. "I think it's hard to really understand the magnitude of it.

"It brings back a lot of memories. How did I get to this point? A lot of people have been involved and helped along the way. I'm thankful to them, especially today."

Video: Alfredsson on jersey number being retired

Alfredsson, a forward chosen in the sixth round (No. 133) of the 1994 NHL Draft, played 17 seasons for Ottawa. He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1995-96.

Alfredsson, 43, had 426 goals, 682 assists and 1,108 points with Ottawa, and leads the Senators in Stanley Cup Playoff games (121), goals (51), assists (49) and points (100). He played in the NHL All-Star Game six times (1996-98, 2004, 2008, 2012).

"I don't think the honoring committee had a very hard job in selecting Daniel as the first nominee and honoree," said Senators senior adviser, former coach and general manager Bryan Murray, a member of the committee. "There are many words to be used when you discuss Daniel Alfredsson: character, leader, big-time performer, disciplined player, and a very respectful player and person.

"I've been really fortunate to coach a lot of great players, a number of Hall of Famers over my career, and I can tell you there's none better than Daniel Alfredsson: work ethic, character, the way he played game. He played right and he led the right way for many of the young players."

It is the second number to be retired by the Senators, joining Frank Finnigan's No. 8. Finnigan played for the original Ottawa Senators from 1923-31, 1932-34.

Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2013-14 season and returned to Ottawa on Dec. 4, 2014 to retire as a Senators player. He returned as senior adviser to hockey operations in September 2015.

"It will be emotional," Alfredsson said. "My retirement night was emotional. I'm not afraid to cry. If I do, I'm fine with it. It's cool."

Video: Chatting with Daniel Alfredsson

When informed his number would be retired, Alfredsson said his mind wandered to his first training camp, which was held in Canton, N.Y., in 1995.

"I thought about how did I get 11? I had 63 in training camp," Alfredsson said. "Once the coaches told the training staff I was going to start the season, they approached me to say, 'You have two choices for [your] jersey,' it was 11 or 22. I picked 11 because I liked that number better because I think I wore it playing soccer as a youth. Antti Tormanen, a Finnish guy who as a rookie with me, got the 22.

"To have this attachment with No. 11 now after all these years is pretty neat."

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said Alfredsson is a worthy and obvious choice to be the first player honored by the committee.

"So many great players have given our fans countless memories, milestones, moments on the ice and through their tremendous community leadership," Melnyk said. "As our franchise continues to grow at so many different levels, the time has come for us to bring some formality to how we honor our great players.

"Fifty years from now, we're going to go through a lot more captains, a lot more great players, and [Alfredsson is] the benchmark now. If you want to be an exceptional person and an exceptional player, you're going to have to outdo him. He's the class of the group."

Video: Eugene Melnyk on retiring Alfredsson's No. 11

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