Ottawa Senators manager Bryan Murray stated to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that former captain Daniel Alfredsson was not properly informed by his agent J.P. Barry during the negotiation process this summer.
Alfredsson left the Senators -- the only franchise he had ever known -- to sign with the Detroit Red Wings as an unrestricted free agent this summer. On Thursday, Alfredsson admitted that money was a significant factor in his decision to leave Ottawa. In addition, he confessed that his previous four-year contract was signed with the intention of his only playing three seasons. The reasoning for this was to artificially lower the annual average value of the deal so that it would count for less against the salary cap.
This is a blatant case of cap-circumvention.
Murray told Garrioch that he was disappointed by the press conference and felt that Alfredsson was not properly informed of what occurred, via the Ottawa Sun:
"It seems Alfie isn't totally informed of what went on. That had to do with J.P. (Barry) didn't tell me the truth during the week. He kept saying ‘I can't get in touch with Alfie. I will get back to you with a number. He never got back to me. I never heard back from him after the phone call on Tuesday (before free agency). Alfie called me himself on Thursday night to tell me that he was leaving."
This doesn't really sound like Alfredsson was misinformed, as much as it was that his side was dissatisfied with the Senators offer, which Murray explained was an issue:
"I offered $4.5 million. I said, ‘Both of us hopefully are flexible and we will talk.' (Barry) said he would get back to me. I just took for granted that would happen and it never happened. I never heard back. I have not J.P. since the $7 milliion (demand in New York) Saturday meeting we had. It was $12 million for two years and $7 million for one. That's disappointing."
Based upon Murray's comment, Alfredsson's camp requested $7 million for a single season or $6 million a year over two seasons. Alfredsson admitted during his press conference that he wanted to be compensated for the $1 million dummy year in his previous contract.
Murray's comment seemingly confirms this dynamic of the story, albeit rather reluctantly:
"Two years ago we promised to extend his contract? When we did the contract originally I don't know any reason why I have to tell anything other than the truth. I'm 70-years-old you think I care what happens?," said Murray.
"He said we asked for another year to make it cap friendly? He asked for a four year deal with up front money. It so happened there was the fourth year at $1 million. Both of us talked and he certainly didn't anticipate playing and J.P. didn't anticipate him playing so I said, ‘That's fine.'
Ultimately, the whole thing has devolved into a mess. Murray's comment comes across like someone who had something go public that he didn't want to go public, which is exactly what happened.
Regardless, Alfredsson and the Red Wings will be moving into the Senators division next season. This should result in some interesting match-ups.