Alfredsson didn't expect to play after 2012

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
12:23
PM ET
UPDATED: April 16, 2013 at 12:18 p.m. ET

Daniel Alfredsson said goodbye to the fans in Ottawa on Thursday and explained his reasons for signing with the Detroit Red Wings.

"When I did my last contract for four years ending in the [2012-13] season, I was asked to help the team manage the salary cap by adding on a extra year to my contract," Alfredsson said in an opening statement, according to TSN. "I agreed. Each side fully expected I would retire and not play the 2012-13 season.

"However, after the 2012 season, I told the Sens I wanted to play another season. I also asked to look at a possible extension this upcoming season at a fair amount to balance out the two years for both of us. They agreed. Sadly, the contract negotiations went nowhere. But I played out the season as I had promised and I believe this past season, in my view, was a very special one."

Alfredsson signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Wings in July when he couldn't get a deal done with the Senators after 17 seasons in Ottawa.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray told The Ottawa Sun Alfredsson asked for one year at $7 million or two years at $12 million, and the team responded with an offer of one year at $4.5 million. He said negotiations didn’t go any further because Alfredsson’s agent, J.P. Barry, never called back.

"If he's [Alfredsson] totally informed of everything, then I'm disappointed," Murray told The Sun. "Does he know J.P. never called me back with another proposal? I don't know that."

Murray added that they never got an extension done two years ago because Alfredsson wanted a two-year, $9 million deal.

"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?" Murray said, according to The Sun.

"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 didn't anticipate playing and J.P. didn't anticipate him playing so I said, 'That's fine.' He played."

Murray was surprised that Alfredsson said his decision to leave Ottawa was about money because the GM thought it was about winning a Cup.

"I have a great belief that what Alfie says, he believes," Murray told The Sun. "I think he is an honorable man and I have great respect for him. People make decisions all the time and sometimes it's about what goes or doesn't go on in negotiating. I assume that he's telling the truth.

"I kind of thought he wanted a new challenge, a chance to win the Cup and I understood that sometimes you do look at what's happening in Ottawa. We've got a lot of young players and he probably looked at it realistically, 'We've got lots of kids here, but my time is running out.' I took that as being very honest. To hear this ..."

Barry told TSN that Alfredsson had taken below-market deals from the Senators before and negotiations were simply done in the best interest of the business at hand.

“I decided not to respond in July when Bryan chose to criticize my role as an agent,” Barry said.

"The fact is this was a negotiation concerning impending free agency. We made multiple offers and invited them to negotiate. They provided a number on the weekend prior to July 5 and said this is all they can do due to internal budget restrictions. It wasn't a market offer in our estimation. They wanted Daniel to take a below-market deal again after he had done the same several times previously and we didn't feel that was appropriate."

Alfredsson is the Senators’ all-time leader in games played (1,178), goals (426) and points (1,108).

"I respected Bryan for everything he's done for this team as a coach and GM," Alfredsson said, according to TSN. "I understand it was hard for them to make it work under my terms."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Ottawa Citizen Thursday afternoon that the league doesn't intend to investigate whether the Senators intentionally circumvented the salary cap with Alfredsson's previous contract.

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