Unrestricted free agent forward Daniel Alfredsson has informed the Ottawa Senators that he plans to sign with a new team, according to multiple reports on Friday morning. Alfredsson has spent the entirety of his NHL career with the Senators and has captained the team since 1999.
Alfredsson told the Senators on late Thursday night that he planned to move on so that the club could prepare competitive offers for other free agents, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Forward David Clarkson was a name specifically mentioned by Dreger.
Based upon multiple accounts, the Detroit Red Wings are believed to be the frontrunners for Alfredsson's services. In addition, the Boston Bruins are believed to be finalists as well. Boston has been in pursuit of Alfredsson since the beginnings of the 2013 season and planned to make an aggressive push to acquire him at the trade deadline had Ottawa fallen out of contention.
This is a surprising development, because Alfredsson returning to Ottawa was believed to be a formality. At 40 years old, many believed Alfredsson was debating whether to retire or return to the Senators. Changing clubs was not something presented as a potential course of action.
However, that appears to be the case.