Daniel Alfredsson won’t be making a decision on his playing future anytime soon.
The Ottawa Senators captain told reporters on Monday that he will need some more time for reflection before he makes an announcement about his intentions for next season.
“There are no thoughts as of now actually. It’s always an empty feeling once you lose out in the playoffs,” Alfredsson said. “I’ll probably take at least a week before I allow myself to think about it and go from there. It’s been a mentally draining season with the schedule and everything. I just feel like I need to give it a little bit of time and freshen up and take it from there.”
Alfredsson will likely follow the same path as he did last season, when the retirement question also swirled around him. He took almost 10 weeks to make the decision that he was coming back for the 2012-13 campaign. And just like he did last summer, the 40-year-old is citing the rigors of the off-season training program as one of the major hurdles in his return.
“Do I have it in me again to go through another summer of training and getting ready for another season?” Alfredsson admitted. “I wish you could just take the summer off and come in and play, but it doesn’t work like that — especially these days. Is the motivation there and do I have the energy to go through that, that will be one of the biggest questions.”
Alfredsson had a solid season with the Senators and led the club with 10 points in 10 post-season games. He only missed one game due to injury during the shortened campaign and says that his body is feeling as good as it possibly can at the end of the season.
“Physically, this is the first time in a long time that I haven’t been injured at all. It’s been really nice,” Alfredsson said.
His teammates are openly campaigning for him to come back next season, but they ultimately know that the decision is in the hands of Alfredsson and his family.
“I think that he knows and everybody knows that it’s quite obvious that he can easily play another year — if not four or five years,” Kyle Turris said. “That’s going to be his decision and we’re just praying he comes back.”
“We’re definitely going to pressure Alf to help his decision along, but he’s going to need some time,” Jason Spezza added. “We’re hoping he comes back for sure.”
The captain also shot down any thought that the Sochi Olympics would serve as a motivation for him next season. He has represented Sweden at the previous four Olympics at which the NHL has been a participant, but he made it clear that he was not thinking about that for next season.
“If I play, it’s to come back and play for the Stanley Cup,” Alfredsson added.