Alfredsson leaning towards returning next season

Cancel that retirement party for Daniel Alfredsson. Or, at least put it on hold.

The Ottawa Senators captain, guesting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on his radio show before Thursday’s fantasy draft, said that he was leaning towards returning for the 2012-13 season.

“The way this season is going, if I’m still healthy after this season, I’m hoping I can go one more,” said Alfredsson. “This year has been so good. If we can make the playoffs, that would almost be a dream come true.”

Alfredsson has previously been reluctant to talk about his plans beyond the current season. While he has one year remaining on his contract – he’s due to make $1 million, but his salary cap hit is $4.875 million – the Senators captain had kept a lid on his future plans.

Going into the season, he was coming off back disc surgery and kept expectations low during training camp.

So far, however, Alfredsson has been one of the biggest individual surprises on a team that is in playoff position, a far cry from the 15th spot in the Eastern Conference that many experts predicted.

Alfredsson has 17 goals and 21 assists in 46 games and hit the 400-goal mark just before New Year’s. He scored only 14 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season. The Senators are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

When Bettman pressed Alfredsson on what continues to motivate him, Alfredsson said the youthful enthusiasm on the roster has been a major factor.

“You try to keep up with the young guys,” he said. “You always think you can better…and you can. I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my career and the drive is still there for me, to see how good I can be. When I play well, I can be one of the best in the league. But when I don’t, I’m just average.”

The Senators captain also covered a lot of old ground, recounting his beginnings with the Senators organization. When he was originally drafted back in 1994, he didn’t even know about it until the next day. He knew nothing about Ottawa.

“I had a lot of trepidation, I didn’t know how the players would be, how the coaches would be,” he said.

The rest is, as they say, history.

7 Responses to “Alfredsson leaning towards returning next season”

  1. phil
    January 27, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    hopefully you come back! you’ll be missed if you do retire!

  2. Francis C.
    January 27, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    I can’t imagine the NHL without Alfie. I hope he has many many more years in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators. How I wish he could win the Stanley Cup before he retires. He is such a fantastic ambassador for the game and has done so much for the Ottawa community. We really appreciate all you’ve done for the Senators and Ottawa in general, and we look forward to everything we know you’ll continue to do. Thanks Daniel! Keep up the great work! GO SENS GO!

  3. Paul
    January 27, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Daniel,
    You have been the cornerstone of the Ottawa Senators. You have had such a great carreer here and a great year. WE WANT YOU BACK!
    You have several years to contribute to the club…and such a young man. Gordie Howe played to 54, surely you’ll give us to 44?
    Praise Alfie!

  4. Bett
    January 27, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Alfie please retire and please tell Erik to get his own place. He has to grow up sooner rather then later to fill your shoes…er skates. AND put an ‘A’ on Chris Neil’s jersey PERMANENTLY. He deserves it!!!!

  5. Shammy
    January 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    So very happy for Alfie…he has had a tough go being between two cornerstone markets in toronto and montreal. This weekend is so much about him, what he’s meant to the Ottawa community.

    Congrats Alfie…enjoy every minute of the weekend. No one deserves it more!

  6. Brody
    January 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Let this be a lesson to Delusional Leaf fans. You will never become an elite team unless you build your own talent. Trades make your team full of employees where as drafting leads to a family atmosphere.

    http://www.thesensforum.com/

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  1. Alfie wants to play one more season | ProHockeyTalk - January 27, 2012

    [...] the 39-year-old joined Gary Bettman on the commissioner’s radio show and said, “The way this season is going, if I’m still healthy after this season, I’m hoping I can go [...]

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