Daniel Alfredsson had one word to describe Tuesday night: exciting.
After spending 17 years in Ottawa, he skated onto the ice and into a longtime rivalry as the Blackhawks hosted the Red Wings in their preseason-opener. But despite wearing a new red and white sweater, Alfredsson said the matchup was more about returning to hockey and less about playing for a new NHL team.
"It's always fun when the season starts again, to be honest it doesn't feel that different," he said. "You dress for the team and you're playing a game, and the only jerseys you're really looking at is the other team's. It hasn't been like 'oh my God,' that kind of feeling for me so far ... it's been a fun time for me so far."
Alfredsson's not the only one excited about his new beginning in Detroit.
Following the Blackhawks' 2-0 victory, his teammates had plenty of good things to say about the talent and leadership he's already providing both on and off the ice.
"(Alfredsson's) been in the League for 17 years now, and we’re very happy that he chose to go to Detroit," Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist said. "He’s such a good player still and brings so much to the locker room. He also works very hard off the ice, so he’s another guy in this locker room that you can really look up to and learn a lot from. It will also be cool to tell your kids one day that you played with him.”
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If there's one thing Alfredsson wants to bring to his new team, it's experience.
"I think (the Red Wings) have a really good veteran core here already and at the same time they have some really young guys coming up, and I think that's a really good mix to have," he said. "I think for me, I play a pretty solid two-way game ... I think I can really help because they don't really have right-handed defensemen, and I'm going to try to play the point here early on and see how it goes."