OTTAWA, Ont. – A rough-voiced Daniel Alfredsson took his place at the forefront of a media scrum for the final time this season, and still provided no indication as to whether he would return to the Ottawa Senators for a 17th year.
The 39-year-old admitted that he's been missing some time with his four young sons, which has been bothering him, but his boys want to see him continue his career.
"It feels at times when you play a lot, you're tired and you have a lot of practices … when you're home I don't have the energy I would like to play with the kids," Alfredsson said. "I miss a lot of their activities – that's going to play part of it. I'm sure the kids would like to see me play another year, there's no question. They love being part of here, being in the locker room, and coming to games. My son once told me, when I did an interview for the All-Star Game, and I was asked if I was going to play next year. I said I didn't know. He kind of started crying, and I thought, ‘I didn't know he was
2012 PLAYOFF STATS:
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 15 | +/-: -3
that emotional about it.' I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘Well [if you retire] then I won't be able to go in the pool in the locker room.' Those are factors I think about. Right now, it's a lot of disappointment, missing out on [continuing] in the playoffs. I definitely need time to reflect and get that feeling that you want to do it with a purpose."
Alfredsson admitted that having the energy of the young players in the Ottawa dressing room helped to give him a boost this season.
"Mentally, the younger players do bring a lot of energy," he said. "It is a great environment in there. I know I'm extremely fortunate to play hockey and get paid doing it for a living. I'm going to have to think, if I do retire, that's it. I've got to make sure that I feel either way that I don't have much left in the tank to make that decision."
The decision regarding Alfredsson's future will be a family decision – one that is best for all involved and shows respect to the League that has provided him with so much.
"I think I need to step back," Alfredsson said." I haven't talked to my wife – we need to make that decision after. I don't know for myself and I need to think. It's hard to see all these comments, ‘Is he leaning one way or the other?' I don't know. But I know I need to have that desire to really get ready for another year, and I think if you don't, it will be a very frustrating year for me, personally. Going through the motions – you have to bring everything you have to the table to be honest to the team and yourself. This League is way too good to go through the motions."