With few free agents to worry about, early summer storylines for the Ottawa Senators included a couple of old veterans and their respective futures with the club. One of those veterans is already gone, with the Sens having traded Sergei Gonchar for a draft pick after realizing they wouldn’t be signing him.
The other veteran is of significantly more importance to the team. Long time Senator Daniel Alfredsson is taking his time to decide his future. Set to become an unrestricted free agent, it’s likely a matter of signing a one-year deal with the Senators, or calling it a career. No other options likely exist here.
Luckily, the Senators are giving Alfredsson as much time as he needs to make the decision. While one would imagine they’d like an announcement sooner rather than later, the word is that they have no intention of pressuring him into an early decision. They’ll let him take as much time as he needs.
Despite his advanced age, Alfredsson is still a major asset to a very young Senators club. He’s past his days of putting up 100 points, obviously, but turned in a solid 2013 campaign nonetheless. He finished with 26 points in 47 games, including 10 goals. What he brings to the Senators, though, is especially key off the ice.
With so many young players, having a guy like Alfredsson around is invaluable. He won the Messier Award for leadership this season and is still the captain. He’s a key locker room piece for this team, which would benefit tremendously from having him around for at least one more season.
We have no real indication of which way Alfredsson is leaning. He’s evaluating all aspects, most notably the physical aspect of it, and especially taking his family into account. Whichever way he chooses to go, it’ll be on his terms, not because the Senators pressured him into a decision, a right he’s probably earned after so many years with this franchise.