Daniel Alfredsson believes some things are worth giving up a few rounds of golf for.
The Ottawa Senators captain leapt at the opportunity to take on a leadership role at the upcoming World
Hockey Summit even though it will require him to volunteer four days of his time this summer.
“I hope that I can contribute with my experiences,” Alfredsson said Monday on a conference call. “It would
be fun to golf in August but I'm sure I'll have enough time to get some games in before. I'm really looking
forward to this.
“It's a lot of people with a lot of experience so I'm sure I can contribute a little bit. But I'm going to
learn a lot as well.”
Alfredsson will form the summit's leadership team with Steve Yzerman, Brian Burke and Hayley Wickenheiser
– four big names in the sport that come from a variety of backgrounds.
Together, they encapsulate the spirit of the event. The Aug. 23-26 summit in Toronto will bring together
key individuals from all levels of the game to discuss a myriad of issues that affect it.
Yzerman, the new GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, received a personal invite from Hockey Canada president
Bob Nicholson. He felt he owed that organization for exposing him to a number of different experiences over
“It was an opportunity for me to repay them,” said Yzerman. “Also, I feel that it's a great education for
me to be involved in this type of concept. You learn a lot just by being there and you meet a lot of people
(and) you come up with a lot of great ideas.”
The summit's agenda includes issues such as women's hockey in the Olympics, player safety, skill
development and potential harmonization of major international events such as the Olympics, world
championship and the World Cup.
Judging by Monday's conference call with the leadership team, almost no aspect of the sport is likely to
go untouched. The cost of getting children involved in the sport, the amount of practice time they should
receive and the NHL's potential expansion to Europe were among the issues discussed during a session with
For Burke, the summit comes down to one overriding issue.
“The challenges that I think we have in our game – forget where it's played – are to keep the game
available, affordable and to make sure we're always looking at alternatives,” said Burke. “My primary goal
going in is to see how we're going to continue to grow this game.”
It's an issue that is close to Wickenheiser's heart as well.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist has seen the women's game come under fire because Canada and the
U.S. are playing at a level so far beyond their competition. She'll be a key part of the discussion on that
“My interest lies in the development of the female game – not only here in Canada and North America but
around the world,” said Wickenheiser. “(There are) pressing questions about how we can continue to take the
game to the next level and develop the game worldwide.
“I'm looking forward to being a part of it, offering what I can and making some steps forward out of this
summit that can really help the women's game.”
The International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the Canadian Hockey League
have all been listed as partners in the summit, with Molson as title sponsor.
Alfredsson will be one of the people who brings a European perspective to the discussion. He was raised in
the Swedish town of Gothenburg and drafted by the Senators in 1994.
“(When) I moved to Ottawa it was a huge change,” said Alfredsson. “Once you're in the locker-room, it
doesn't matter where you are. The atmosphere (and) the language might change – but everything from how you're
treated in the locker-room to the language that goes on is the same all over the world.”