It didn't take long for his former general manager to pull off a shocker of his own.
Just a few hours after Alfredsson ended his 17-season run in the nation's capital by signing a one-year deal with the Red Wings, Senators GM Bryan Murray landed star forward Bobby Ryan in a trade with Anaheim.
Ottawa gave up Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in 2014 in the deal.
Alfredsson, 40, said while the Senators are moving in the right direction, he feels that signing with Detroit will give him the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time.
"It was an extremely hard decision to make but I feel it's the right one for me at this time," Alfredsson said on a conference call.
In a move almost as seemingly improbable as Alfredsson leaving Ottawa, the Boston Bruins signed forward Jarome Iginla to a one-year deal worth $1.8 million. With incentives, the 36-year-old could make up to $6 million.
Iginla, the long-time captain in Calgary appeared to be headed to Boston at the trade deadline when the Flames and Bruins had a deal in place. But Iginla spurned the Bruins and Calgary dealt him to Pittsburgh instead.
The Bruins swept Iginla and the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final.
In 1,232 games with Calgary and Pittsburgh, Iginla has 530 goals and 576 assists.
Several big-name players were on the move in the early-afternoon whirlwind, many of them signing lucrative long-term deals.
Forward Nathan Horton agreed to terms on a US$37.1-million, seven-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Phoenix Coyotes signed forward Mike Ribeiro to a $22-million, four-year deal.
By mid-afternoon, the Toronto Maple Leafs were in on the action, signing forward David Clarkson to a seven-year deal worth a reported $36.75-million. The Leafs also re-signed forward Tyler Bozak to a reported $21-million, five-year contract along with tough guy Frazer McLaren to a two-year deal worth $1.4 million.
The Red Wings also agreed to terms on a five-year deal with forward Stephen Weiss worth a reported $24.5 million and the Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Rob Scuderi to a $13.5-million, four-year contract.
The New Jersey Devils and forward Ryane Clowe agreed to a $24.25-million, five-year contract, and later picked up forward Michael Ryder.
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Valtteri Filppula to a $25-million, five-year deal, according to media reports.
The Edmonton Oilers made a flurry of signings shortly after the free agency period began at noon Eastern Time, signing defenceman Andrew Ference to a four-year contract worth a reported $13 million. Ference helped Boston reach the Stanley Cup final last month.
The Oilers also confirmed the trade that will see forward Shawn Horcoff go to Dallas in exchange for defenceman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Edmonton also signed a pair of former Phoenix Coyotes, inking centre Boyd Gordon to a three-year deal and goaltender Jason Labarbera to a one-year deal. The Oilers also agreed to terms on two-year contracts with forwards Ryan Hamilton and Jesse Joensuu.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired forward George Parros from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Philippe Lefebvre and a seventh-round pick in 2014.
The Winnipeg Jets stayed quiet until they made a trade to pick up right-winger Devin Setoguchi from the Minnesota Wild for a second-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Setoguchi had a career-high 65 points in 2008-09 while with the San Jose Sharks and hasn't come close to hitting that mark since.
In other moves Friday:
— Veteran forward Saku Koivu will return for a fifth year in Anaheim after signing a one-year contract with the Ducks. The 17-year NHL veteran had 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 47 games last season, while also breaking the 800-point plateau for his career.
— The Nashville Predators signed four forwards to multi-year deals. Viktor Stalberg signed a $12-million, four-year deal and Eric Nystrom to a $10-million, four-year deal. Nashville also signed forward Matt Hendricks to a $7.4-million, four-year deal and forward Matt Cullen to a $7-million, two-year contract. Goaltender Carter Hutton also signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Predators.
— The San Jose Sharks re-signed defenceman Scott Hannan to a one-year contract and signed forward Tyler Kennedy to a two-year contract. The Sharks also announced that star centre Logan Couture signed a $30-million, five-year contract that was agreed to last month.
— The Coyotes re-signed forward Kyle Chipchura to a multi-year contract.
— The Senators signed forward Clarke MacArthur to a two-year contract.
— The New York Islanders agreed to terms on a $3.25-million, one-year deal with goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. The Isles also agreed to sign forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to one-year deals and agreed to a seven-year contract with defenceman Travis Hamonic.
— The Philadelphia Flyers signed goaltenders Ray Emery ($1.65-million, one-year deal) and Yann Denis (one-year, two-way deal).
— The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks re-signed defenceman Michal Rozsival to a two-year deal and forward Michal Handzus to a one-year contract.
— The Calgary Flames signed goaltender Karri Ramo to a $5.5-million, two-year deal and centres Greg Nemisz (one-year deal) and Corban Knight (two-year deal). Calgary also picked up defenceman Kris Russell from the St. Louis Blues for a fifth-round pick in 2014. The Flames later signed defencemen Chris Butler and Chad Billins to one-year contracts.
— The Minnesota Wild signed defenceman Keith Ballard and re-signed blue-liner Jared Spurgeon.
— The Vancouver Canucks signed centre Brad Richardson.
— Goaltender Dan Ellis signed a $1.8-million, two-year contract with the Dallas Stars.
— The Carolina Hurricanes and veteran defenceman Mike Komisarek agreed to a one-year deal worth $700,000. The Hurricanes also agreed to terms on a $800,000, one-year deal with goaltender Anton Khudobin.
— The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Geoff Walker to a one-year, two-way contract.
— The New York Rangers agreed to terms with forward Dominic Moore.
— The Colorado Avalanche signed defenceman Andre Benoit to a one-year contract.Suggest a correction