NHL Notebook: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson joins club in untitled developmental role and Hockey Canada announces Team Canada coaching staff for 2024 World Juniors
1 month ago
Daniel Alfredsson may not be on the ice with the Ottawa Senators, but he has officially returned to the organization under an untitled developmental role.
Steve Staios, the club’s president of hockey operations, confirmed Friday morning that Alfredsson has joined the club under a developmental role with players and coaches ahead of the club’s home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Staios noted the enthusiasm the Hall of Famer expressed when approached regarding the position and the importance of Alfredsson being around the team and head coach D.J. Smith, adding, “We’re going to see how this evolves, but he’s officially back with the organization.”
“It’s great, without a doubt to be back in the fire,” Alfredsson said in a press conference on Friday. “I’m super excited and I hope that I can help out and contribute to the team… I’m not going to get the same adrenaline I did as a player, but this is the next best thing.”
Alfredsson’s new position certainly isn’t his first rodeo with the organization in an off-ice role. From 2015 to 2017, the former Senators captain worked with the club as a senior advisor but opted to step away to give himself a break from hockey.
Alfredsson’s legacy in Ottawa speaks volumes, as he is remembered as one of the most iconic figures in the franchise’s history. Throughout 17 seasons, from 1995, after being selected by the Senators in the sixth round of the 1994 NHL Draft, to 2013, when he decided to join the Detroit Red Wings, he boasted the Senators’ colours while wearing the ‘C’ for 13 consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2013.
Alfredsson showcased his extraordinary talent during his tenure, tallying a remarkable 426 goals and 1,108 points in 1,178 regular season games. Even during high-stakes games such as the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he shone bright, scoring 51 goals and 100 points throughout 121 games. These markers in Alfredsson’s career remain franchise records.
While incredible achievements marked his time with the Senators, it concluded with a somewhat rocky ending. A contract dispute resulted in Alfredsson exploring free agency, ultimately finding a new home with the Red Wings. In his inaugural season with the club, he notched 18 goals and 49 points through 68 games.
He returned to where his heart truly belonged a year later, joining the Senators again after signing a one-day contract. The contract had an emotional goal behind it, allowing Alfredsson to say farewell to the sport he spent years devoting his time to, with the team he spent almost every year with.
Alfredsson’s impact extended beyond personal achievements—such as a Calder Trophy in 1996— his leadership qualities and dedication to the community were celebrated. He received the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2011-12 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2012-13. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2022 to put the final cherry on top of his illustrious career.
Hockey Canada announces Team Canada coaching staff for 2024 World Juniors
With just 74 days left to wait one of the greatest junior hockey tournaments of all time, Hockey Canada announced the coaching staff for Team Canada at the 2024 World Junior Championship.
Alan Letang, the head coach for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL and head coach for Canada’s U-18 team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, has been announced as Team Canada’s head coach.
In 2022, Letang took on an assistant coaching role for Team Canada at the 2022 World Juniors as a part of Dennis William’s staff that aided the team in winning a gold medal.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Alan after a successful year where he helped Team Canada capture gold medals at the World Juniors and Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” senior vice-president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada Scott Salmon said in a statement.
Along with the announcement of Letang as head coach, Hockey Canada also announced the assistant coaches for Team Canada will be Gilles Bouchard, Shaun Clouston, and Scott Walker. Meanwhile, Justin Pogge will take on goaltending consulting, and James Emery will take the role of video coach. Brent Seabrook—a three-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Chicago Blackhawks—will join Team Canada in a management group role alongside Peter Anholt.
Bouchard has represented Canada on three occasions at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in 2014, 2015, and 2018, winning silver as head coach in 2018 and gold as an assistant coach in 2015. He is currently undergoing his debut year as head coach for the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL after five years as an assistant coach for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
Clouston holds a decorated history in Canadian hockey, clinching two gold medals with Canada’s National Men’s Summer U-18 Team in 2014 and 2015 at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament and a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s U-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. After moving from his after the 2021-22 season as general manager with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, this year now marks his fourth season as head coach. Before his current role, he spent 16 seasons with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers from 2003 to 2019, adhering to multiple duties.
Walker posts an extensive coaching record with Team Canada across various levels. In 2018, he served the assistant coaching position, winning bronze at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Previous to the Olympics, he won a bronze and goal medal at the 2012 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, respectively. Presently, Walker holds the partner and president of hockey operations position with the OHL’s Guelph Storm. Before his current role, he led the team as head coach for six seasons from 2010 to 2015, then 2022-23. In addition to his work in the OHL, Walker has contributed expertise to the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes in various roles within hockey operations.
The 2024 World Junior Championship is set for the first puck drop between Team Canada and Team Finland on December 26th. Canada will be playing for its third straight gold medal.
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