NHL Canadian Corner – Friday, August 16, 2013.

Daniel Alfredsson’s bitterswett farewell press conference, an update on the Senators contract talks with Jared Cowen, the latest on Roberto Luongo, Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson, and Craig MacTavish brings a sense of urgency back to the Oilers.

Daniel Alfredsson's bittersweet press conference may have done more harm than good.

Daniel Alfredsson’s bittersweet press conference may have done more harm than good.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson’s farewell press conference “turned bitter and acrimonious” as he accused the club of breaking promises he would be fairly compensated, and Senators GM Bryan Murray insisting Alfredsson’s claims were untrue.

Alfredsson’s comments suggest the Senators may have purposely engaged in salary cap circumvention under his previous contract, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league won’t investigate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for my belief Alfredsson wouldn’t be bitter over his departure from the Senators. I don’t blame him for being ticked at the Senators for not paying him market value this time after years of leaving money on the table in his previous contracts, but not only doesn’t this change anything, it could reflect poorly upon Alfredsson among Senators fans.

I’m sure over time the bad feelings between Alfredsson and the Senators front office will pass, and he’ll get his just due from the club and its fans, including retirement of his number. For now, though, I think it would’ve been best for both sides if Alfredsson hadn’t bothered with that press conference.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: On a happier note for the Senators, contract negotiations with defenseman Jared Cowen are picking up, with his agent expecting a deal to be in place before training camp opens next month. The two sides have discussed various contract scenarios involving a one-year deal, a 2-3 year “bridge contract” or a long-term deal at four-plus years. The compensation could be between $2-$3 million per season.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford believes it’s Roberto Luongo’s motivation, not his level of happiness, which matters.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts reports the Toronto Maple Leafs remain patient in their contract talks with Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson. Shoalts claims “by all accounts” Kadri wants a big raise and a long-term deal, and he speculates the young Leaf could seek a deal comparable to Winnipeg’s Evander Kane (6 years, $5.25 million per season).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kadri is seeking something comparable to Kane, he’s dreaming in technicolor. He’s also a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract with one decent lockout-shortened season under his belt and no arbitration rights. He can stage a holdout, but those are rarely successful. I expect he’ll accept a short-term deal for between $2.5-$3 million per season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: New Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has brought a “sense of urgency” back to the team.


  1. I don’t think you can be unhappy and motivated at the same time.

    • Any emotion can be used as motivation.

  2. These Kadri comparisons to Kane and/or Subban are utterly ridiculous. The latter two have played in more games and have also left a much stronger impression. Kadri played well last year. But noticeably tailed off near the end. Pretty much a non-factor in the playoffs too. To re-sign both him and Franson. Toronto will have to dump a depth player for a pick/prospect.

  3. I think Alfie was taken advantage of and good for him for calling it out. I get that political correctness is sometimes important but not saying anything ever encourages unfair practices because the ‘who’s going to say anything so let’s just do what we want and not what we said’ type mentality just gets reinforced as acceptable behavior.

  4. coming from a leafs fan, i think alfie is a class act. He led the sens year in and year out, was a positive influence on one of the best d men in the league in Karlsson. he gave up extra money to remain in the city he loves to play for. He bled for the fans and they loved watching him wear the sens jersey. he was the franchise and Melnyk not only let his gm down he let alfie and his fans down. this is a special case and their decade and a half captain was treated like a doormat.

    • It appears to me now that there’s reason to believe that both sides have a share of blame in this. Kind of like a marriage that goes sideways, both sides blaming the other. Call me naive but I can’t help but think that in a year or two, once emotions settle down, there may be some overtures by team Mngt. to approach the Captain and find a face saving way to kiss and make up. He’s a great ambassador for the team and the organization would be better off with him in some capacity as a part of it.

      • The part that I wonder about, not that it matters a whole lot because the Sens are not a to cap team anyway, but I wonder if Alfies departure and how it all went down will effect the Sens and their ability to resign guys or to sign UFAs. Agents and players are thick as thieves, how many smooth negotiations can you see Berry and Murray having in the future? No matter who is to blame I think there are alot of agents who will be telling their players that they will get a better deal somewhere else, and I doubt this bodes well for Ryan (and to a lesser extent Spezza) if ownership and management remain the same over the next couple of years I realize its a ways off but I just dont think it looks good for your organization to other players and agents.

        • I usually try and avoid the back and forth’s on these posts however I’d like to clarify one thing. As a fan of the Detroit Red Wings since childhood and to a lesser extent the Montreal Canadiens the Ottawa Senator’s are currently now my favourite team. Being a fan however doesn’t in any way make them ‘my organization’. I’m simply a fan. (I always find it a bit disturbing when fan’s start to consider themselves as ‘part of the organization or team’. They’re not.).
          To your point about free agency, the team has stated repeatedly that they’re going to try and develop their own talent vs. chasing after big name free agents. As a small market NHL team this is probably the most sensible approach to take. It appears to me that most ‘big name’ free agents prefer to sign in larger market’s anyways. I believe that the Senator’s organization the past number of years have done a very good job in the way they treat their players which explains why so many choose to re-sign with the team. The greater concern for Ottawa Senator fan’s should the financial solvency of the team’s owner. James Bagnall’s Ottawa Citizen article (link shown in Saturday’s Aug. 17th Canadian Corner) provides some excellent insight into this. No question Alfredsson’s departure has been a P.R. nightmare for the team considering that their ticket packages go on sale Monday! (*there’s a tip for you Leaf fan’s looking for affordable tickets). It’ll all pass and I have no doubt that ‘Alfie’ will be given a rousing ovation when he returns to ‘The Tire’ on December 2nd.

  5. Cept everyone loses when Murrary and the Sens go on record saying they would have given him $5.5 which is the same he got with the Wings … I truly believe Alfie’s agent f’d this one up.

  6. Why doesn’t Jay Feaster send Kadri an offer sheet?

    • it would probably work but does Feaster really want to lose potentially the first overall pick for Kadri?

      • Under 3.5 Leafs match Kadri will be signed before Franson. Over 3.5 if its a team like Calgary especially, where you are probably looking at a lottery pick…. Bye bye Nazim

  7. Alfie never HAD to take less than market value.. It was his choice.

    His last contract — he got most of the money in the first 2 yrs… 7M in each.. and 1 yr at 4.5. Sure the Sens added with his and his agent’s approval 1M to bring the cap hit down. Lots of teams did this in the last CBA.. this isn’t a unique contract,

    Alfie assumed he would be retired. But he and his agent (who is supposed to be one of the best) should have thought ahead.. what if he was still playing? They could have refused that 1M or made it a higher amount.

    It could have been a 4 yr contract at 5M each year? They agreed to the contract and were not happy when he had to play for 1M.

    I love Alfie.. but his request last season (once the lockout was over) was for 8M. That’s crazy. Now this offseason he wanted 7M or 12M over 2 seasons. That’s still too much money.

    All of this may have been avoided if Melnyk would have authorized a 5.5M contract.

    You have a much loved captain and legacy player on one side. An owner with rumoured great financial difficulties on the other… and a GM in the middle trying to make it all work…

    A lot of blame to go around… it’s sad in the end.. and so unnecessary had the Owner put the money he is making on the team… back into the team.. instead of trying to nickel and dime his players.

    The blame mostly though, goes to the Owner.

  8. Alfredson has been paid in Ottawa by the fans US$57 million in salary alone, never mind promitional work which came from his popularity or the compounding factor from wise investments. He has not found the cure for cancer, or saved lives. I don’t begrugde the man his money, but to stand up and pubicly and bitch is reprehensible. Shut the Hell up take your pieces of gold and think yourself a very lucky man.