08/15/2013 10:24 EDT | Updated 10/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Daniel Alfredsson to speak in Ottawa

Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is holding a news conference on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET in Ottawa, where he's appearing for the first time since signing with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Royal Mental Health Centre said Wednesday that Alfredsson “will take this opportunity to give his thanks to the community and to bring further attention to mental health, which he has so actively championed.”

Alfredsson, 40, surprised team management and Senators fans on the first day of the NHL's free-agency period on July 5 by signing a one-year contract with Detroit for $5.5 million US after playing 17 seasons in Ottawa.

“I think the easiest thing for me would be just to stay in Ottawa, enjoy my last year there and retire an Ottawa Senator,” he told reporters at the time. “It probably would’ve been a great ending as well, but it’s the ultimate prize and I’m a competitive person.”

Alfredsson won an Olympic gold medal with Sweden in 2006 but has never hoisted the “ultimate prize,” the Stanley Cup.

He made his NHL debut with the Senators in the 1995-96 campaign and has scored 426 goals and 682 assists for 1,108 points in 1,178 regular-season games. Alfredsson also has shone in the playoffs with 51 goals and 100 points in 121 contests.

In last year’s lockout-shortened season, he had 10 goals and 26 points in 47 games.

Ottawa drafted Alfredsson in the sixth round in 1994 and he went on to capture the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie and appeared in six all-star games.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray acquired right-winger Bobby Ryan, a four-time 30-goal scorer, in a trade with Anaheim to help offset Alfredsson’s departure.