Alfredsson decided to say goodbye to his former Canadian team and took his game to the Detroit Red Wings, signing a one year $5.5 million deal. This deal made sense for both the Red Wings and Alfredsson. For the Red Wings, they not only get a great scorer in Alfredsson, but a tremendous leader. Last year the Senators were plagued with a multitude of injuries, and many had counted them out of Stanley Cup contention when key players like defenseman Erik Karlsson and center Jason Spezza went out with long term injuries. However, Alfredsson kept his team together, and his leadership brought them to make it into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Alfredsson signing gives the Red Wings yet another prolific scorer to play with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, giving Alfredsson plenty of support offensively and a chance to be a member of a historic Original Six team that has the potential of giving him the Stanley Cup that eluded him throughout his career.
There is no doubt that Alfredsson will be missed by the Senators, but they might not miss his scoring as much as many originally expected. That is because the Senators made a deal with the Anaheim Ducks to send forward Bobby Ryan to Ottawa in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and their first-round pick in the NHL draft, who ended up being defenseman Shane Theodore from the WHL. Ryan, 26 years of age and a six-year veteran of the league, has certainly made his mark thus far as a member of the NHL. He had over 30 goals and over 50 points in four of his last five seasons as a member of the Ducks, and the only time he did not occurred this year, in a lockout-shortened season where he had 11 goals and 30 points in 46 games. The Senators acquire a winger to replace Alfredsson, who can score and is much younger. Meanwhile, the Ducks eased the pressure on their cap by giving Ryan to the Senators and acquiring a great pair of young players in Silfverberg and Noesen.
As far as the local teams are concerned, the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils made few major moves in the offseason, until the NHL Draft. In the most shocking move of the day, the Devils traded away their first round pick, eighth overall, to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for goaltender Corey Schneider. This answered major questions for both the Devils and Canucks. With longtime goaltender Martin Brodeur at the end of his career, many were wondering how the Devils were going to be able to handle losing the man who has been between the pipes for them since the early 1990s, but the addition of Schneider answered that question. Now Schneider is not Brodeur by any means, but he is certainly one of the better goaltenders in the NHL right now and will definitely be a very good replacement when Brodeur’s time in this league finally comes to a close.
This also solves the Canucks’ goaltending question of whether Schneider or Roberto Luongo would be the starting net minder heading into the season. Last season, there was no clear cut “starting” goaltender for the Canucks, so Schneider and Luongo merely split time and the Canucks went with who was hot on that given week or night. Now, however, that is no longer an issue, as Luongo is the only goaltender on the roster for the Canucks that has shown any greatness in the NHL. Luongo has been unhappy with his situation with the Canucks for years though, and if the departure of Schneider does not make things better, it will be interesting to see how the soap opera between the Canucks and Luongo unfolds.
These three stories are only a few of the many exciting events that occurred over the offseason in the NHL. With all of these veterans finding new homes and the changing of the conferences and divisions, it will be very interesting to see how this year plays out. One thing is certain, however, we will have a full 82-game season and the puck cannot drop soon enough.