Daniel Alfredsson Humbled By ‘Tremendous Honour’

Posted: June 03, 2016

Daniel Alfredsson was originally stunned when he heard he was going to be inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame. After all, when he was originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 1994, he didn’t know if he would ever leave his native Sweden to play in the NHL. When he first arrived in Ottawa, he thought he might last only a year or two. Accordingly, in the beginning, his knowledge of the city was basic. “I knew it was the capital city, or at least I think I knew that, anyway,” Alfredsson joked before officially joining fellow inductees Bob O’Billovich, Jeff Bean, Tina Takahashi and Barclay Frost in the Hall of Fame Friday. “I knew Canada loved hockey, but they weren’t very good at soccer. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge at that point. I didn’t know what to expect.” Beginning with his first modest apartment on Lyon Street, where he lived during his Calder Trophy winning season as NHL rookie of the year in 1995-96, Alfredsson certainly never imagined the life that was to come. When his career finally ended after 1,246 games, 444 goals and 1,157 points, he also owned the legacy as the greatest player and captain in Senators history. Way back when, though, the idea of one day joining the hallowed Sports Hall in his adopted second home was nowhere on the radar. “When you look up the history, it’s so impressive,” said Alfredsson, now the Senators’ senior advisor of hockey operations. “When I first found out (about the induction), I didn’t know how to react. When you play, you never think of situations like this. But being here now, it’s such a tremendous honour to be involved with the very best this city has ever had in sports. I’m extremely humbled by it.” The Fantastic Five were all smiles as they went through their photo requirements before the formal ceremonies. They then followed a parade of bagpipes into the ceremony at Lansdowne Park’s Horticultural Building. Alfredsson has been on a hectic schedule since returning to North America from Sweden late last week. He joined Senators general manager Pierre Dorion at the NHL’s scouting combine in Buffalo earlier this week, helping prepare for the NHL entry draft June 24-25. Dorion and Alfredsson continue to discuss how the former Senators captain can best help the club, but there has been no official change to his responsibilities or job title. After a pitstop at home in Detroit — Alfredsson and his family are currently “in the process” of moving back here later this summer — he flew into Ottawa on Friday afternoon. Alfredsson will return to another unfamiliar stage next week. After receiving an honourary “Doctor of Laws” degree from Carleton University earlier this week, Alfredsson will speak to graduating students next week. “No, I didn’t know that was coming,” Alfredsson said, with a laugh. “The first thing I asked was, ‘How can you get a degree, when you never went to school?’ I heard about the honourary part and I said I would be very honoured to be a part of that. “It will be a great experience for me and hopefully I can give some words of wisdom to the graduating class.” Current Senators captain Erik Karlsson, who attended the induction ceremonies, says Alfredsson is fully deserving of his spot in the hall — even though it came as a surprise. “That’s not something that anybody really starts to think about it until, maybe, you get towards the end of your career, if you’ve had a successful career,” said Karlsson, who has looked up to Alfredsson as a mentor. “But for him, being the person he is, I don’t think it even crossed his mind.” Karlsson didn’t just praise his good friend. He was well aware that the night was about all five newcomers to the Hall of Fame, talking about the contributions of O’Billovich, Bean, Takahashi and Frost. “They’ve all done such great things for the community,” Karlsson said. “There are so many kids that they inspired, as well. It’s not only hockey we have in this city. They’re all important. I think it’s great they have the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for all of them.”

Footnote: Warren, K. (2016, June 3). Daniel Alfredsson humbled by ‘tremendous honour’
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