Alfredsson was a guest on CBC's Ottawa Morning Thursday before he receives the key to the city Thursday night.
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On his Dec. 4 retirement ceremony in Ottawa
"Going to the locker room, the guys leave for the ice, I'm sitting there by myself for, it felt like half an hour but it was probably three minutes. A lot of emotions going through my head, no question. This is it. I knew I felt comfortable with the decision but also at that moment, it hits home."
On leaving Ottawa for Detroit
"You grow as a family, that's the way I looked at it, too. It was a chance for us to really grow as a family, take on new challenges, something totally different. We were, and I've always been treated so well here, that it was almost like things came too easy for us. It's been a sobering experience, and a fun and exciting one as well."
On any regrets leaving Ottawa
"No. ... Sometimes it's hard to make decisions and a lot of people say things happen for a reason sometimes, and when you look back at it now it's easy to say. I was able to come back and retire here and be very welcomed back, and maybe that wouldn't have happened the same way if I didn't leave for one year. So I have no regrets. Like I said, we've learned a lot in the year and a half we've been away now, and it's always truly special to come back here."
On returning to Ottawa in an office role
"I've thought about coming back to hockey. ... I'm helping out coaching two of my sons and I really enjoy it, I do, the teaching part. And I'm learning a lot as well. I've found out even if you're a good hockey player it doesn't mean you're a good coach, especially for kids. ... If you go into the pros, the time commitment is a lot bigger. So I think my struggle right now is, ... if I want to do something I want to do it right and put it all in, and how much do I take away from my kids if I go into work and work even more than I did as a player, even if I might not have to travel all the time. Those kinds of decisions I'm struggling with. So I don't have a definite answer but I definitely enjoy being around the hockey rinks and being around hockey."
On becoming general manager one day
"Right now I would say no, for a few years. One, I'm not qualified enough and I'm not ready, either. Like I said, even if you're a good player it doesn't mean you'll become a good coach or a good GM. I think there's definitely a learning process. But it's an intriguing part."
On Erik Karlsson as captain
"He's doing good. I see that. And it's hard in the beginning, especially the circumstances this year of firing a coach, getting a new coach, his first year as captain, it's a learning process. It was for me, it took a few years before you're comfortable with the way you want to lead and figure it out. But Erik is a smart guy and I'm sure he's picked up from us older guys throughout the years here and it's fun to watch him play right now. They obviously had a fantastic road trip and I'm happy for them doing well."
On receiving the key to the city
"It means a lot. To me I look at it as a recognition of me as a person, probably more than anything. I've been lucky to be around great people in this city who have taught me a lot about charity — I'd never been involved in a charity before I moved here — and how to handle yourself. ... I was taught that by the people here and I almost feel like they're part of it as well and that's why it means a lot."
On coming back to Ottawa in the future
"I don't know. We've said this year we're just going to finish this year's school year and then we'll go from there, but we have a lot of ties here. Like I said, my brother lives here, we lived here for a long time, our kids were born here, so when we get down to it and decide on our future, whatever it may be, Ottawa is definitely one of the places."
Alfredsson played 17 seasons for the Ottawa Senators before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2013.
He then retired on Dec. 4, 2014 at a news conference in Ottawa, before donning the same uniform he wore in his final game as a Senator during the warm-up of that night's game.
Alfredsson had signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Senators to skate with the team before their game against the New York Islanders.
He will be honoured at Ottawa City Hall Thursday night for his contributions to professional hockey and off-ice leadership, according to the city.
Deputy Mayor Bob Monette will present Alfredsson with the key to the city on behalf of Mayor Jim Watson, who is recovering from a fractured pelvis.