Update: Daniel Alfredsson has signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings for $5.5 million.
BOSTON – The Bruins continued their pursuit of 40-year-old Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson on Thursday with more contact between general manager Peter Chiarelli and Alfredsson’s camp, and Boston is expected to be one of the finalists when the future Hall of Famer makes his free agent choice on Friday afternoon.
NHL free agency opens up at noontime and Alfredsson was said to have narrowed his choices down to the Ottawa home where he’s played his entire NHL career; Boston, and the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins would be a natural fit for Alfredsson, given his close relationships with Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly, and his connection to Chiarelli during his time in the Ottawa front office.
That’s not to mention the Swedish invasion taking place in the Bruins organization, where Niklas Svedberg, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson have all joined in the last calendar year. The B’s selected three players from the Swedish Leagues in last weekend's draft.
While Alfredsson clearly isn’t the player that he was 15 years ago, he scored 27 goals and 59 points during his last full season with the Sens and managed 10 goals and 26 points during the lockout-shortened campaign. He would be a nice part of the reconstruction job Chiarelli and the Bruins are undertaking on the right side of their forward group, and could potentially fit in with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.
“He’s a veteran, he’s a terrific leader, he’s a terrific players and he does anything to win,” said Chiarelli. “He’s strong on the puck, he’s got a terrific shot, he has a lot of good things about him. I’d like to think that we’re a destination for an older player, old relatively speaking, that wants a chance to win.”
It’s likely that Alfredsson is only looking for a one- or two-year deal at this point in his career, and the money won’t break the Bruins bank after freeing up $4.5 million in cap space with the Tyler Seguin/Rich Peverley trade set into motion on the Fourth of July.
So the Bruins are in a position to sign Alfredsson, or a right wing similar to him in cachet and ability, where they might not have been 48 hours ago approaching the noontime open to free agency.