As 2013 winds to a close, looks back at the stories that made the year memorable. Producer Shane McNeil reflects on his favourite hockey moment: Daniel Alfredsson’s surprise decision to leave the nation’s capital.

Originally published – December 24, 2013.

Daniel Alfredsson’s Motown Revival

By: Shane McNeil

Hockey fans had seen it before.

The hero leaves the city where he’s enjoyed years, sometimes decades of memories and successes in search of one or two years’ worth of hunting down a Championship ring.

Ray Bourque, Mats SundinJarome Iginla – It happens. It’s no slight on the player and more often than not, the organization and the fans do nothing but wish them the best.

But, Daniel Alfredsson? Did anyone see that coming?

Here is the man that took a pay cut to keep the team afloat amidst bankruptcy. ‘Alfie’ is a man who ascended to nearly religious standards in the Nation’s Capital after years of battling the Toronto Maple Leafs and getting the team to its only Stanley Cup Final.

In the days (hours?) that followed Alfredsson’s signing in Motown, the Senators brass tried to foist the breakdown on their long-time captain and his agent J.P. Barry. The lines of communication, they believed, went silent at the most crucial time.

Alfredsson’s decision to sign in Detroit appeared to be based on a player not being willing to settle for another discount deal. But what’s more surprising than Alfredsson leaving Ottawa is that the Senators let it happen.