DETROIT – It didn’t take long for the Wings to make one of the more shocking splashes in the opening day of NHL free agency.
Detroit landed former Ottawa Senator Daniel Alfredsson, getting him for one season at $3.5 million plus $2 million in bonuses that would bring the deal up to $5.5 million.
Alfredsson spent his entire career, 17 seasons, with the Senators.
Wings general manager Ken Holland reached out to Alfredsson on Thursday.
Alfredsson, who can play the point on the power play as well as kill penalties, wants to win a Stanley Cup and therefore narrowed his choices of where to play between Detroit, Boston and Ottawa.
Alfredsson, who had been the league’s longest serving captain, will fit well in the Wings locker room that’s full of Swedish-born players and could fit well on a line with Henrik Zetterberg.
That makes eight Swedes now in Detroit’s locker room – Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Mikael Samuelsson, Gustav Nyquist and Jonas Gustavsson.
Alfredsson, who’s a right-handed shot, had 10 goal and 16 assists in 47 games this last season.
Over his 1,178-game career, he has 426 goals and 682 assists.
This isn’t the first player the Wings have added that’s nearing the end of their career.
Mike Modano spent his final season in the league two years ago with the Wings. Things didn’t work out for him in Detroit after suffering an injury early in the season.
This also isn’t the first Swede the Wings added in free agency as his career ended. Detroit signed long-time Toronto Maple Leaf Börje Salming, who played just the one season and in just 49 games where he scored two goals and had 17 assists.
What makes the move even odder is the fact that the Wings will be playing in a division with the Senators, whom he’ll play four or five times with at least two of the meetings taking place in Ottawa.
Detroit jumps to the Eastern Conference next season to compete in a yet-to-be-named division with Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Florida.