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Alfredsson can't wait for 'special' trip

Senators captain looking forward to Gothenburg hockey homecoming

Wednesday, 09.24.2008 / 10:22 AM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Alfredsson can\'t wait for \'special\' trip
For everyone in the Ottawa Senators organization, it will be the most historic of hockey beginnings.

Nobody, however, will run through the same gamut of emotions as captain Daniel Alfredsson when the Senators arrive in Sweden next week for the NHL Premiere series. The Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins open the season against each other Oct. 4 and 5 in Stockholm.

Alfredsson remains a massive hero in Sweden and especially in his hometown of Gothenburg, where the Senators will face his old club team – the Frolunda Indians – in an exhibition game on Oct. 2. It is an occasion that is most special to a player who surely realizes the importance of such a game to the community he knows so well.

“It’s going to be exciting, there’s no question,” said Alfredsson. “I ended up going back to Sweden for three days this summer – that was really it. I have lots of friends and family to see. I’m sure it will be a hectic time but I’m really looking forward to it.”

He is most enthused about the chance to play in a building that, during his formative years, fuelled his passion for the game he loves so much.

“I think that’s going to be really neat to be able to play in an arena that I (used to) play in,” said Alfredsson of the Scandinavium in Gothenburg. “I grew up watching hockey in that arena, as well, and I went to high school right next door. So I have a lot of memories from there. To play there again with Ottawa is going to be a pretty neat experience.”

Alfredsson further enhanced his stature at home back in 2005, when he led Frolunda to the Swedish Elite League crown while the National Hockey League was shut down for the season by a work stoppage. A year later, Alfredsson wore the tre kronor proudly as Sweden struck gold in men’s hockey at the Turin Olympics.

Thirteen years after leaving his homeland for the NHL, Alfredsson is amazed he gets to savour the experience of bringing the Senators with him to Gothenburg and Stockholm, a city in which he also played many times over the years.

“I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to go back and relive it,” Alfredsson told “But this is a great opportunity to do that. You know, playing in front of Swedish fans, it’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.”

The buzz is already simmering in Gothenburg for the return of the hometown hero.

“For the people in Gothenburg, it’s a big thing,” said Frolunda coach Ulf Dahlen, a former NHL star. “When you add the aspect that Daniel Alfredsson is home, that makes it even more special.”

The Indians roster includes a number of players with NHL dreams of their own, including defenceman Erik Karlsson, the Senators’ top pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Another player on that team, Joakim Andersson, told facing off against Alfredsson and the Senators will be a moment of true inspiration.

“We have all heard about Daniel and we know what he has done,” said Andersson. “The excitement about him coming here is already starting to build. We have regular-season games to worry about but there is no denying that, when the time comes, everyone will be excited.”

Nobody more than the returning legend himself.

“I think it will be a special night,” said Alfredsson.




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02