Daniel Alfredsson has spent his 18-year career with the Ottawa Senators, the last 14 as team captain, but as noon ET on Friday draws closer, the very real possibility that he could wind up elsewhere for the 2013-14 season continues to grow.
Multiple media reports have Alfredsson, 40, and his agent, J.P. Barry, talking to the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins in addition to negotiating with the Senators. Alfredsson reportedly talked to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli on Thursday. He is seeking a one-year contract.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported on Twitter shortly after 10:30 a.m. ET Friday that Alfredsson has told the Senators he will not be back.
The Red Wings and Bruins would fit Alfredsson.
Detroit appears content on letting Valtteri Filppula hit the free-agent market. While Filppula is a natural center, he was playing on the wing quite often for the Red Wings and Alfredsson could fill that spot. Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner also could test free agency, leaving more room on the wing for Alfredsson.
The Bruins likely won't have any of their top three right wings back, which of course gives Alfredsson room in Boston. Nathan Horton will sign with a different team and Tyler Seguin was traded to the Dallas Stars. While Chiarelli said he wanted to circle back to Jaromir Jagr, it's also likely that the 41-year-old will become a free agent at noon ET.
Alfredsson has played 1,178 games with the Senators and racked up 1,108 points, including 26 points in 48 games in 2012-13. However, he has reached the Stanley Cup Final once (2007), where he and the Senators lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks.
Alfredsson repeatedly has talked about a strong passion for playing in Ottawa because of the young, up-and-coming team led by coach Paul MacLean, the Jack Adams Award winner for 2012-13. However, chasing that elusive Stanley Cup championship with the Red Wings or Bruins also could be an enticing option.
The market opens in a few hours. Will Alfredsson be in it? Will he leave Ottawa, the only NHL town he's ever called home?
These questions will be answered soon.