In April 2013, Ottawa Magazine honoured the captain with the “Alfie Pack,” deconstructing the Senators’ icon with 11 essays on No. 11. By July, he was a Detroit Red Wing.
Today, Alfie and the Red Wings visit the Canadian Tire Centre for the first time since the deal was done. In the lead-up to the big event, Ottawa Magazine has spent the past 11 days revisiting our 11 essays — one essay per day for 11 days. Find them all on the site with a quick search for “Alfredsson.” (Want a copy? Back issues for sale here.)
Turning It up to 11: Alfie as Chant
Also known as the Alfie Countdown. Three times a game, no matter the score or what else is happening on the ice. As the game clock ticks down from 11:11 of each period, fans begin their own countdown to the 11-minute mark.
Eleven, 10, nine, eight … the countdown gets louder and rowdier as the crowds catch on to the time. Seven, six, five, four … their voices swell as one as all eyes zero in on the captain, whether he be on the ice or on the bench. Three, two, one …. and, in unison, Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! Alfie!
It’s a funny thing to witness, those few seconds when the actual game becomes secondary to the 11:11 ritual. Three times a night, a chance to serenade the captain, each time just a little bit sweeter, a little bit more poignant as it begins to sink in that even Alfie won’t be playing forever.