Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Calling Time

I almost hope, for Daniel Alfredsson's sake, that there's no hockey this year.

Lots of people have been writing that Alfredsson's return for another victory lap is good for the Senators. That to go out after missing a season due to a lockout is, somehow, a diminishment of his accomplishments over his career with Ottawa.

My argument is: there's almost no better way to go out.

Alfredsson came off a frankly disappointing 2010-2011 campaign, playing hurt and eventually missing time due to an injury. He seemed slow and couldn't produce the way he had in previous years.

And then...

And then he roared back in 2011-2012. He looked like the leader of previous years, giving maximum efforts at both ends of the ice. The whole All-Star weekend was frankly an Alfie love-in. And he was instrumental in dragging a "rebuilding" team, one which was expected to miss the playoffs, to fighting the #1 East seed in a winner-take-all 1st round game 7.

Short of Stanley Cup glory, is there really any higher note to go out on?

Alfredsson risks becoming another Micheal Schumacher, who doesn't quite know when to quit and gets embarrassed by younger, stronger players.

Alfredsson's career is one that will leave him with respect up and down the league. Failing to call time on it at an appropriate moment is very risky to his legacy.