Ottawa Senators fans launch campaign to get Daniel Alfredsson into Hockey Hall of Fame
Former Ottawa Senators player Daniel Alfredsson watches as a banner with his retired jersey number 11, is raised to the rafters in Ottawa, Thursday December 29, 2016. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Two Ottawa Senators fans are behind a growing social media campaign to get former team captain Daniel Alfredsson into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
A Twitter account called @AlfieToTheHall went live Tuesday with a video outlining Alfredsson’s history with the Sens and the case to have him become a Hall of Famer. The tweet was posted at 11:11 a.m.--a tribute to Alfredsson's No. 11 jersey.
Alfredsson has been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2017, but has yet to be inducted.
Speaking on CTV News at Five, the two fans behind the “Alfie to the Hall” campaign, Corey Meehan and Stephen MacDonald, said it all started over arguments with Toronto Maple Leafs fans.
“Corey and I, we’re good friends and go back a long way,” said MacDonald. “Corey lives in Toronto and he was having a number of arguments and getting frustrated with the Leafs fans there saying Alfie didn’t deserve to be in the hall.”
The seed was planted in 2020 when Meehan discovered that the Hockey Hall of Fame has a public submissions process.
“He started doing that and he shared that presentation with me and I was like, ‘This is really good stuff!’” MacDonald recalled. “We kept working on it and then eventually, later in 2020, we reached out to a couple of other people, notably Cyril Leeder (former Ottawa Senators president) and Craig Medaglia (former Ottawa Senators social media producer), who joined up and helped us take the submission process to the next step.”
Medaglia told TSN 1200 that Leeder approached him to ask for help with the submission.
“Cyril reached out and said they were looking for some help with maybe some of the stuff that I can help out with: some fun videos or content strategies or social media stuff. I was happy to jump in with those guys,” he said.
Meehan said the case of Alfredsson can be divided into what he called three ‘buckets.’
“The first being his NHL accomplishments, which stand on their own, in terms of whether or not he would be a worthy candidate for the Hall of Fame,” Meehan said.
Alfredsson holds the Senators franchise records for goals (426), assists (682), points (1,108), shots (3,320), and hat tricks (8). He is the second-longest playing Ottawa Senator of all time with 1,178 games played, behind Chris Phillips who played 1,179. He played 17 seasons with the Senators and one with the Detroit Red Wings. He signed a one-day contract in 2014 to officially retire as a Senator. His No. 11 jersey was retired in 2016.
“The second bucket to consider would be his international play, which includes 14 international appearances as well as his time in the Swedish hockey league,” Meehan said. His international appearances include the gold medal-winning Swedish Olympic team 2006 and the silver medal-winning Olympic team in 2014.
“The last bucket, and arguably the most important, is all the work Daniel has done off the ice. He’s been a real trailblazer for mental health advocacy. He has a doctorate in law from Carleton for his work, and he’s been recognized by the Governor General for all his humanitarian efforts. When you look at the sum total of all of those things, it’s a slam-dunk that he should be in,” Meehan said.
Carleton University awarded Alfredsson an honourary doctorate in 2016 for his philanthropic efforts. That same year, he was awarded the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross.
The "Alfie to the Hall" campaign received immediate support. The video posted to Twitter has been seen more than 140,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon and has been shared by the Ottawa Senators' official Twitter account, former Sens players, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, and thousands of others.
“We knew there was a lot of support, but the degree of the amplification has been well beyond any of the goals we set for ourselves and the campaign,” MacDonald said. “We hope that this is just the beginning for the next two weeks and it’s going to carry us through.”
The 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees will be announced June 27.