Alfie a 'Senator for life'?

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN -- Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said this morning he wants captain Daniel Alfredsson to be a "Senator for life."

The first step in trying to make that happen will be Saturday when Melnyk, Senators general manager Bryan Murray and Alfredsson's agent, J.P. Barry, meet in Stockholm to begin talks on a new contract for the Senators' star.

"It's very preliminary discussions, but it's always worth talking. We're looking forward to it. What we would like to do come up with something so he is a Senator for life, but we have to realistic about what we can do and where the economy is heading. We'll see what happens."

Melnyk made the comments after the Senators' morning skate in preparation for tonight's final game of the exhibition schedule against the Frolunda Indians, a Swedish elite league team.

Alfredsson's contract expires at the end of this season, but the deal has three option years attached. If he plays in 70 games and has 70 points, he gets control of the option and could declare himself an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn't meet either of the 70 marks, the Senators can have him for another year at $3.8 million. Alfredsson is making $5.45 million this season with a cap hit of $4.4.

It's expected Barry will tender an offer to kickstart negotiations Saturday. Alfredsson is probably looking for at least a two-year deal, maybe three. The longer the deal, the smaller the yearly salary, but something in the $20-25 million range over three years is market value.

"We're definitely going to try to do something that will satisfy his side and make him happy. We'll see at that point where it goes," said Murray.

For tonight's game (1 p.m. in Ottawa), the Senators scratches will be veterans Shean Donovan and Dean McAmmond up front and Luke Richardson on the blue line.

Martin Gerber will start in goal.

"I know the game we want to play is the same, big ice or not," said Senators coach Craig Hartsburg. "They've got a team that's excited to play and it'll be electric. Based on what we saw the other night, it will be a great atmosphere. Our plan is take a step forward in our play. We want to end the exhibition series on a very position note in the way we play. Saturday night is getting closer and closer.

"We've had three really good days of practice. We made some steps forward in our game. We want to see that in our game tonight. We don't want to go backwards and have a lackadaisical effort."


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