Daniel Alfredsson Portrait
Daniel Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson was born on December 11, 1972, in Göteborg, Sweden, where he grew up playing ice hockey. He played 82 professional games with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League for three seasons in the early 1990’s, which led him to be picked in the sixth round of the 1994 NHL draft (133rd overall) by the Ottawa Senators. This pick would culminated in an NHL career spanning 18 seasons.

Although Alfredsson had raised few expectations when he was drafted into the NHL, he proved to be a delight for the Senators, leading the team in goals (26) and points (61) in the 1995-96 season. He was Ottawa’s representative at the NHL All-Star Game in Boston, and at the end of the season, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie.

In large part due to Alfredsson’s production and inspired play, the Senators made the playoffs for the first time in 1996-97. Again that season, he represented the Senators at the NHL All-Star Game, as he did the following two seasons.

Before the start of the 1999-2000 season, Alfredsson was appointed team captain and held that role until 2012-13. In July 2009, he became the longest-serving active captain in the NHL.

Alfredsson’s productivity peaked in the 2000s, and he played in the NHL All-Star Games again in 2004 and 2008. His 80 points in 2003-04 saw him rank seventh in NHL scoring. During his 17 seasons with the Senators, he enjoyed 13 seasons with 20 or more goals, including a career-best 43 markers in 2005-06. That same season, he tallied 103 points to rank fourth among NHL scorers and was rewarded with a berth on the NHL's Second All-Star Team. From 2000-01 to 2008-09, Alfredsson scored 723 points, third in points during that period, trailing only Joe Thornton (823) and Jarome Iginla (724).

At the start of the 2005-06 season, the NHL introduced the shootout and on October 5, 2005, Alfredsson made NHL history by scoring the league’s first shootout goal (on Ed Belfour) in Ottawa’s season-opening win against Toronto.

Alfredsson led the Senators throughout the playoffs during the spring of 2007, becoming the first European captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup final. Ottawa eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres to reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time. Although the Senators would ultimately be unsuccessful in the final series against the Anaheim Ducks, Alfredsson scored 14 goals and posted 22 points during 20 post-season games.

After 17 seasons in Ottawa, Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent on July 5, 2013. Departing the Senators after setting franchise records by playing 1,178 regular season games, scoring 426 goals, and adding 682 assists for a total of 1,108 points, he was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2012 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award the following year.

As a Red Wing, Alfredsson contributed 18 goals and 49 points during the 2013-14 season but was hampered by back problems, which ended his playing career after one season with Detroit. He announced his retirement on November 27, 2014. A week later, he signed a one-day contract with the Senators and officially retired as a member of the team with which he began his NHL career. On December 29, 2016, Alfredsson’s number 11 was retired by the Senators, the first modern-day player to earn this distinction, and raised to the rafters of the Canadian Tire Centre before a game against the Red Wings.

Alfredsson’s international career representing his native Sweden was equally impressive. He participated in seven World Championships (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2012), earning silver medals in 1995 and 2004, and bronze medals in 1999 and 2001. He was a member of Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004, and represented his home country in the Winter Olympics in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. The Swedish men’s hockey team won Olympic gold at the tournament in Turin, Italy, in 2006 and silver in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

A prodigious worker at both ends of the rink and a leader, whether in the NHL or for Sweden, Daniel Alfredsson’s highly successful career led to his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the player category in 2022.

Alfredsson became a Canadian citizen in 2016 and resides in Ottawa with his wife, Bibbi, and their four boys. He recently received a Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada for his work on “You Know Who I Am”, a mental health campaign that strives to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. He was also granted the singular honour of receiving the key to the City of Ottawa in March, 2015