Daniel Alfredsson won’t be pushing for Hockey Night in Sweden as part of the leadership team at the World Hockey Summit.
While the Senators captain agreed to play a key role alongside Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser to help grow the game, NHL expansion to Alfredsson’s homeland and the rest of Europe won’t be on the agenda during the summit, Aug. 23-26 in Toronto.
“It sounds very sexy (to put an NHL team overseas), but it’s very difficult to do,” said Alfredsson, the league’s longest-serving captain. “If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to get it right.
“It would be devastating to a lot of the leagues (over there). I don’t think (we’re going to see) anything happen soon.”
Burke, who said Europe isn’t ready for an NHL team, believes the league’s top priority overseas is player development.
“First of all, there’s the economics of having an NHL team in Europe. Most of the buildings in Europe do not generate NHL economics. They don’t have the seating capacity or the premium seating capacity or the big-ticket item capacity,” said Burke.
“Secondly, there’s the travel. (You go there) and you need four teams. Now, you need four buildings that generate NHL economics.
“Even if all those things could be mastered, what does it do to the Swedish Elite League? If it puts them out of business, why are we even talking about it? We should be talking about a way to make that league stronger.”
Before the summit, Alfredsson will speak with hockey officials in his homeland to see if the game has continued to grow. He’ll bring some concerns about development to the summit discussion.
Alfredsson said he couldn’t resist being part of the summit when he received the invite.
“Having the perspective from both sides (Europe and North America), I hope I can contribute with my experiences,” said Alfredsson. “I’m really looking forward to this. I’m sure I can contribute and learn a lot as well.”
Recovery going ‘great’
Alfredsson said his recovery from sports hernia surgery last month “has been great. Better than I expected.” He played with the injury down the stretch and throughout the club’s first-round playoff series against the Penguins.
B’s quash Spezza talk
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli — who told Beantown reporters he’s had one good offer for the second overall pick in next week’s draft, but won’t deal the pick — scoffed at rumours Senators C Jason Spezza could be dealt to Boston. Chiarelli told reporters he hasn’t even “talked to Bryan Murray” when the topic came up following a press conference to introduce Cam Neely as team president. The Bruins don’t have the cap room to take on Spezza’s $7-million hit. As reported by the Sun last month, it’s doubtful Spezza will be dealt before his no-movement clause kicks in July 1.