On behalf of Mayor Jim Watson, Deputy Mayor Bob Monette tonight presented Mr. Daniel Alfredsson with the City’s most prestigious award, the Key to the City, during a special ceremony in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to professional hockey, and for his off-ice leadership and advocacy with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.
“It is such an incredible honour to have Daniel Alfredsson back in Ottawa, and to present him with the Key to the City in recognition of his many accomplishments both as a leader on the ice and in the community,” said Mayor Jim Watson.
Daniel Alfredsson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and was drafted by the Ottawa Senators during the 1994 NHL entry draft. Affectionately known as “Alfie” by Ottawa Senators fans, he won numerous awards, including the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year during his first season, and held the position of Captain from 1999 to 2013. Daniel Alfredsson played 18 seasons in the NHL, all but one with the Ottawa Senators. He played his final year with the Detroit Red Wings, but returned to Ottawa on December 3, 2014, signing a one-day contract to retire as an Ottawa Senator. Wearing his Number 11 Senators captain’s jersey one last time, Alfie received a standing ovation from fans during a ceremonial skate around the rink before the start of Ottawa’s home game.
“Words cannot adequately express how I feel tonight,” said Daniel Alfredsson. “This city and the people of Ottawa have made our family feel so welcome during our life here. I am truly humbled to be receiving this special honour. Thank you so much.”
The City of Ottawa previously recognized the Ottawa Senators’ Captain by declaring April 10, 2010 “Daniel Alfredsson Day” in honour of his 1,000 NHL game.
In addition to his tireless work and support of the Ottawa Senators Foundation, he was also a champion for people suffering from mental health, lending his name and face in support of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health “You Know Who I Am” campaign as a way to help eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental health. Daniel Alfredsson was also a staunch supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, and made many unannounced visits to the kids at CHEO.
Mr. Alfredsson also holds the Senators record for goals, assists and points; the Senators record for highest +/- rating in a season, set in 2006-07 with a +42; the Senators record for most points in a regular season game, set in 2007-08 with three goals and four assists for seven points; the Senators playoff records for most games played, goals, assists and points; and won a gold medal for Sweden during the 2006 Olympics.
Daniel Alfredsson married his long-time girlfriend Birgitta (née Backman) on July 31, 2004. They are parents of four sons; Hugo, Loui, Fenix and William Erik.
The Key to the City was first presented in 1935 by His Worship Stanley Lewis to Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada and his wife Lady Tweedsmuir. Other Key to the City recipients include author Margaret Atwood, photographer Yousuf Karsh, actress Sandra Oh, and the Community Foundation of Ottawa.