TRAVERSE CITY – A different city and a different team didn’t change how Daniel Alfredsson felt on his first day of training camp.
“I’ve been around a long time,” Alfredsson said after taking his physical on Wednesday prior to the opening of training camp. “It’s still exciting, but it’s obviously a big change for me coming here.”
Alfredsson, 40, signed a one-year worth $3.5 million on the first day of free agency, leaving Ottawa where he had spent his entire 17-year career prior.
“It’s a situation where you got to prove yourself again,” Alfredsson said. “In Ottawa I knew where I was at all times pretty much. I feel like I’ve got to put my best foot forward again. I don’t think it’s that much different. If I had been in Ottawa it would have been the same thing, when you work, you put 100 percent effort into it, no matter where you are.”
Alfredsson had been the league’s longest serving captain until the move.
“It’s a great situation we’re up here for a week, no distractions, just hang out and get to know all the guys and get to know them on and off the ice,” said Alfredsson, who could also earn $2 million in bonuses this season. “Hockey locker rooms are pretty much the same everywhere you go in the world. I know a lot of the Swedish guys, I know a couple of the other guys from before. It’s different, but it’s not that different. It’s going to be exciting. This is a great hockey market, which is fantastic. They really care about the team, very supportive. It’s going to be fun to start.”
Alfredsson will be the eight Swede in Detroit’s locker room joining Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Mikael Samuelsson, Gustav Nyquist and Jonas Gustavsson.
“I’ve been very welcomed here, from staff to people around town and the players as well,” said Alfredsson, who had been skating informally in Detroit with teammates for the last two weeks. “It’s going to be fun to sort out who’s going to play with whom and for myself, where I fit in. It’s going to be fun.”
Alfredsson, who’s a right-handed shot, will begin camp on a line with Franzen and centered by Stephen Weiss. He can also play the point on the power play and kill penalties.
Alfredsson 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.