OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson doesn’t dwell on his successes. He’s much too humble for that.
But Senators fans just keep getting treated to new milestones established by their captain.
Last season, Alfredsson became the first Senators player to score 1,000 career points with a hat trick Oct. 22nd vs. the Buffalo Sabres. On April 6, 2010, he suited up for his 1,000th career game vs. Florida. Alfredsson scored his 400th career goal on Friday night vs. the Flames, becoming only the 86th player in NHL history to achieve the feat.
“It’s a milestone but for me — it just adds to everything else,” said Alfredsson. “Right now, it’s something that’s in my mind, but, at the same time, it’s going to be something I look back on 10 or 15 years from now and say, ‘That’s a pretty good accomplishment.’
“Right now, I try not to think about it. I know I don’t have a lot of years left so I just try to enjoy every moment. When you play long enough, numbers are going to add up one way or another. I’ve been fortunate to be on a lot of good teams.”
Senators GM Bryan Murray said getting into the 400 club speaks to Alfredsson’s consistency.
“It means that he’s played awhile and been a heckuva player in the league,” said Murray. “Goals reflect something for every player, but I think they’re less important for Alfie. What’s most important for him is the character, effort, overall work and loyalty he’s brought to the organization means a lot.
“It’s a real reflection on his ability as a hockey player. He’s been the ultimate pro. He’s been a great captain, a consistent hard worker and a good defensive player. He makes players around him better.
“For a guy like Alfie, he wouldn’t have to score 400 goals to be regarded as a great player. It just adds to what he’s done for this franchise.”
Alfredsson said he’s worked hard to be a goal scorer, but also prides himself on being a setup man.
“That’s something I’ve worked on the most: My goal-scoring ability since I’ve come over here,” he said. “I always consider myself still a passer first. My shot is one of the things I’ve improved dramatically from when I came into the league.
“It feels really good knowing you’re a threat when you get the puck and be able to put it in. I still try to figure out how I can score more goals in practice. I try to figure out ways I can be more effective. That’s why I enjoy it. Trying to keep with the new styles, the young guys and the goalies, you’ve got to adjust to change.”
Alfredsson’s teammates are happy for him.
“It’s exciting. We all knew he was close when we went into this year,” said centre Jason Spezza. “It’s a heckuva milestone and a lot of goals in this league.”