Alfredsson ponders his future
Daniel Alfredsson's decision to continue his NHL career into an 18th season — beyond the Ottawa Senators' disappointing loss to the Penguins on Friday night in the Eastern Conference semifinals — won't be his alone.
Hugo, Loui, Fenix and William Erik — his children aged 10 through 2 — will have something to say about it.
His wife, Birgitta, will have an opinion, too.
Then there is Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who will meet with the 40-year-old captain in the next few days.
Coach Paul MacLean, however, was the only member of the Senators organization to weigh in definitively after the 6-2 loss to the Penguins.
Asked about the possible returns of unrestricted free agents Alfredsson and 39-year-old defenseman Sergei Gonchar, MacLean said, “My expectation is they will be back until they tell me they are not going to be.”
For Alfredsson, however, it's not that easy. He said he really doesn't know what he will do.
Even if the decision was only his, he is unsure.
“I really can't say now,” he said after the 1,179th game of his 17-year career. “I love the game, I love to practice, I love to play the games.”
“I find the travel really tough with four kids at home,” he said. “That's where I struggled personally.”
Alfredsson, who has 426 career goals, missed one goal recently that especially bothered him. His son scored it.
“My son's first career goal, birthdays,” he said. “I missed out on a lot at home.”
“My wife draws a pretty heavy load at home. Without her, I would never have been able to play this long.”
Alfredsson, who retrieved the puck Wednesday at the last game at Scotiabank Place, said there were no special thoughts running through his head at the end of Friday's game at Consol Energy Center.
“If I had decided to retire already, it would have been different,” he said.
Teammate Kyle Turris said it would be difficult for the Senators to carry on without Alfredsson.
“Alfie is the heart and soul of Ottawa, not just our team,” he said. “To possibly be losing him, that's something that will be real tough that we would have to work through.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
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