Tampa Bay, which cleared salary cap by buying out 33-year-old Vincent Lecavalier, agreed to a $25 million, five-year deal with 29-year-old center Valtteri Filppula to essentially replace its captain.
While the Red Wings were ready to lose Filppula, Ottawa wasn’t expecting Alfredsson to tell the front office he wanted to play elsewhere.
“It was a devastating conversation, a disappointing one, hard to swallow,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray acknowledged. “But I understand a veteran player that hasn’t won and wants to win and sees a better opportunity.”
The Senators, though, got younger and perhaps better up front by acquiring Ryan. Ottawa sent forwards Jakob Silfverbeg, Stefan Noesen and its first-round pick in next year’s draft to the Ducks for the four-time 30-goal scorer. The 26-year-old Ryan has two years left on a five-year, $25 million contract.
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren was one of the many NHL executives to talk to the Ducks about acquiring Ryan in recent years.
“We had conversations, but nothing that really ever made sense for us,” Holmgren said. “I think Anaheim made a good deal. I think both teams made a good deal.
“Ottawa obviously lost Alfredsson, and they were able to get Bobby Ryan. But they gave up one real good young player off their team, another good young player that I believe is going to play right away, and a first-round pick.
“I don’t want to say it’s a steep price, but for us to get in and weigh what it would have cost us, in my mind, that’s a lot.”