It's now been a few days since Alfie has signed with the Detroit Red Wings for this upcoming season. The shock has worn off for me and I'm ready to move on to next season and cheer for the Ottawa Senators. I've read many blogs/comments/twitter posts about it in the last 4-5 days and see hate for both sides in this situation.
Here is my opinion, whether you like it or not.
Unless you were in the room with Bryan Murray and Alfie's agent, or unless you are a family member or close friend of Alfie's, you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED!!!!
I understand that in situations like this, people feel the need to blame someone for what happened. It's easy to point a finger at the Sens for "low-balling" Alfie, or to blame Alfie for taking his ball home and leaving after being insulted. Honestly though...does anyone really know what happened to make Alfie decide to go play somewhere else?
Can you really blame the Sens? Can you really blame Alfie?
Unless you can give me solid facts for what happened between the end of the Sens playoff run and Alfie signing with the Red Wings, I refuse to blame anyone.
I'm not going to cancel my season tickets because I think the Sens mishandled the situation, because I don't know that they did. They went in to a negotiation expecting to get a deal done and they were blindsided.
I'm not going to burn or throw out my Alfie jersey because I think he made the wrong decision. The decision was his to make and he had every right to make it. Just because you work for a company for 20 years and they treat you like a king, doesn't mean you're obligated to retire with that company. You make the choice you feel is right for you and will make you happy. You're not in Alfie's mind, you don't know what he's thinking.
Sure, I'm not happy with the way it all happened and I was as shocked as anyone else in Ottawa when the announcement was made. I actually refused to believe it until it was officially announced and even still hoped it wasn't true until I heard the interviews. I was sad, shocked and disbelieving of the whole situation.
I'm really not sure how I will react to seeing him in a Red Wings jersey next season, or how I'll react in his first game in Ottawa against the Sens. I do know that I want the Sens to beat the Wings every single time they play them next season AND I want the Sens to beat them in the playoffs. I want Alfie to be proven wrong.
I hope this year's team takes this as a challenge from Alfie to the Sens. He doesn't think we're good enough, let's show him that we have just as good of a chance as Detroit to win the Cup.
It's now up to the veterans on this team to fill up the hole left by Alfie in the leadership department. Phillips, Spazza, Neil and everyone else need to step it up.
I'm excited at the upcoming season and I can't wait to see what the team will be able to do.
In the meantime, I'll fondly remember the good times with Alfie in this city and wish him well in his career...just never against the Sens.