Alfredsson a Sen for life?

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

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

The next step in trying to make that happen will be tomorrow when Melnyk, Senators GM 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," said Melnyk. "What we would like to do is 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."

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 at the end of the season. If he doesn't meet either of the 70 marks, the Senators can have him for another year at $3.8 million (all terms US). Alfredsson is making $5.45 million this season with a cap hit of $4.4 million.

It's expected Barry will tender an offer to kickstart negotiations tomorrow. 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-million-to-$25-million range over three years is about 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.

HEAR AND THERE

Senators C Jason Spezza said he loved the atmosphere last night in the Sandinavium during the Senators' 4-1 win over the Frolunda Indians. There was one section that was really amped. Led by a drummer, who keeps up a constant beat, they sang and chanted throughout the game. "The fans were amazing. We have good fans at home, but if they could take a little from here, that would be great. Put them in a section behind the other team's net. It would be sick," said Spezza. When told about the atmosphere at Monday's Elitserien game yesterday, Melnyk said he would look into allowing noisemakers at Scotiabank Place again (I think he was just being nice). Senators fans will get on the their feet for a goal, but stand and sing for for an entire game? Sounds like too much fun ... After being scratched for last night's game, one of Shean Donovan or Dean McAmmond looks like a good bet to play tomorrow in the regular season opener against the Penguins in Stockholm. The aggravated groin injury suffered by C Mike Fisher last night makes him doubtful. Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said of the veterans being left out last night: "It's nothing anybody's done wrong. It's just the situation. It could change on a nightly basis. If they're here, they're going to get a chance to contribute." Sooner than later, maybe.

REVELATIONS

Senators W Antoine Vermette just saw Frolunda D Erik Karlsson at the last second in the first period last night. Karlsson, as he has been known to do, jumped up at the Ottawa blue line and had his 160-odd lbs. aimed at Vermette. It was a physical dimension nice to see from the Senators' top pick in last summer's draft ... Things aren't so rosy down on the farm for the Senators. Veteran F Brad Isbister has been told to get lost after he didn't think he got a fair shake in training camp and got sent down. "He played in two out of five exhibition games and played in the top six forwards," said Senators assistant GM Tim Murray, who runs Bingo. "I told his agent if he can get him a job (in Europe), get him out of here." Isbister had a clause in his deal he could be released to play in Europe Nov. 7, but Murray said he'll waive it -- but not before he returns two dozen sticks he took with him ... Also, farmhand Alexander Nikulin has asked for a trade in his blog (that's a good one).

SPECULATIONS

Melnyk said he's confident the current market crisis won't impact Ottawa, Senators fans or the club as much as other places. "With the turmoil going on right now, I expect it affects somewhere in the various cities, especially the ones that rely on the credit markets," he said. "We'll see what happens as far as the attendance. I think in Ottawa it's a little different because we're not that dependent on real estate speculation or some of the big manufacturing jobs. I feel very comfortable in Ottawa, but some of the other cities? We'll see what happens."...Senators COO Cyril Leeder took a tour of the new 18,000-seat soccer stadium that's under construction here. Melnyk said plans are progessing as far as making a bid to the MLS for an expansion franchise for Ottawa. Bids have to be in by Oct. 15. "We're working on it. Even last night we were filling out all the forms that are necessary in making our submission," he said. "We're working on it very hard and we think we have a good shot."

THE BUZZ

Another guy named Daniel, the bartender at our hotel, is a big Alfredsson fan. Seems there are few around here. He was interested to hear about the talks on a new contract to keep his man in Ottawa. "We love that guy. The goals he scored when Frolunda won the championship? Incredible," he said, flicking an imaginary stick. "You can have him for a couple more years, but we want him to finish his career here." ... Is Alfredsson underpaid? "In today's market, probably a little bit in the comparative sense. I don't think there are many players in the league underpaid," said Murray. "Not nearly as much as managers." Murray will be earning his trying to keep Alfredsson happy.

PARTING SHOT

They didn't have a TV timeout light for the penalty box, so they took one off a police car. It would have made Ray Emery feel at home.


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