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Retiring Alfredsson gets one-of-a-kind ceremony from Senators

NHL.com @NHL

OTTAWA - Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has officially retired.

The 41-year-old Swedish forward made the announcement today at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, the rink he called home for most of his 18 seasons in the NHL.

The Senators have signed their longtime captain to a one-day contract so he can skate in pre-game warm-ups with the team one last time tonight and take a ceremonial faceoff before they take on the Islanders.

At a morning news conference, Alfredsson donned his No. 11 jersey.

The Senators' captain from 1999 to 2013, Alfredsson stunned the hockey world last year by leaving to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.

His departure after 1,178 games, 426 goals and 682 assists, several playoff runs and a trip to the 2007 Stanley Cup final left raw emotions on both sides fences appear to be mended as the Sens pulled out all the stops for his retirement announcement.

"I just want to say 'Welcome home Daniel,'" team owner Eugene Melnyk said at the news conference.

Alfredsson, who decided three weeks ago to call it quits, said it was great to be back.

"(Retiring here) would give us a chance to say thanks to the people and the fans of Ottawa," he said. "So here we are."

Senators general manager Bryan Murray called it "a tough day for hockey."

A native of Goteborg, Sweden, Alfredsson was a sixth-round pick ??? 133rd overall ??? in 1994 and over the years played in 121 of the 126 playoff games in franchise history.

He spearheaded 15 trips to the post-season, most notably in 2007 when the Senators went to the Stanley Cup final before losing to the Anaheim Ducks.

He won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Olympics in Turin as the team's leading scorer and helped lead an injury-ravaged Ottawa team, without Spezza and Karlsson for major parts of the season to the 2013 playoffs.

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