The kid and I were out yesterday morning, we went to play at Sky Zone and then we started the long drive back across the city. It was until I was stopped in a drive-through getting the kid a post-trampolining milkshake that I checked my phone.
A simple text from my husband: “I think he’s gone. We lost Alfie.”
It didn’t make any sense. I flipped to sports radio. Rumours swirling – Daniel Alfredsson leaving Ottawa for Detroit. It couldn’t be true.
From the back seat, my daughter’s little voice: “I don’t want Alfie to play for another team.”
I have cried over hockey before. When my Ottawa 67’s lost to Oshawa in game 6 of the OHL final and missed going to the Memorial Cup after a record-breaking season? I cried (and it took my years to forgive Marc Savard for scoring 17 seconds into overtime).
I saw a comment on Twitter: I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. That about summed it up. It felt like a break-up, and I was left wondering what we as fans could possibly have done wrong.
He was a career Senator who has gone above and beyond for this city and this team, and he’s simply picked up and left. We loved him dearly and he loved us.
Some people are angry, but still all I feel is sad. I feel like we’ve missed this opportunity to see Alfie play out his career, for him to be a franchise player – few and far between these days as Jarome Iginla moves from Pittsburgh to Boston after leaving Calgary last year.
It feels like a mistake on all sides, though I’m told Ottawa will be a better team with Bobby Ryan coming in.
I can only hope that when Detroit visits next season Ottawa will rise to cheer Alfie on again, forgetting the shock and remembering all the greatness.