Before writing about Daniel Alfredsson, I wanted to take some time to think about the most stunning move of 2013’s NHL Free-Agent Extravaganza. Spent some time re-listening to his Detroit conference call and re-watching Bryan Murray’s media gathering in Ottawa.

Here is the Alfredsson quote that stands out:

“I didn’t really see myself making a change, if you had asked me a week ago,” he told reporters.

Murray himself called his former captain a perceptive person, someone he could talk to honestly about the team. And there is zero question Alfredsson is being honest when saying he wants to compete for the Stanley Cup.

He announced his return to a Swedish reporter on June 28. He informed the Senators about his decision to leave on July 4.

Between those dates, the Red Wings signed Jakub Kindl to a four-year extension, made Anthony Mantha the first of their draft picks and bought out Carlo Colaiacovo. Curtis Lazar led Ottawa’s draft charge before the team signed Nathan Lawson to a two-way contract.

No offence to any of them, but those moves did not change either team’s Vegas odds on winning it all in 2014.

So, what really happened here?

The answer comes in Murray’s explanation of the negotiation timeline. He met with agent JP Barry last Saturday in Manhattan. Here is the GM’s description:

“That was the one and only meeting where money was talked about. It was just a comment about what we could do and not do. One of the numbers that was at me, I said, ‘That’s not really the number we can go to, it’s not a fair number I don’t think.’”

That number is believed to be $6 million. Initially, it was a two-year request, although that would change. The Senators are believed to have offered a one-year contract in the $4 million zone.

Oh, man. You can totally see how things fell apart right then and there.