LAS VEGAS -- In a town famous for gambling, Ottawa forward Daniel Alfredsson refused to place odds on whether or not he will call it quits.
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 15 | +/-: -3
"I don't know," Alfredsson said Tuesday at a media availability for the NHL Awards at the Wynn Hotel. " I do [think about returning] some mornings and some mornings I'm stiff and it would be nice to just take it easy. I can't say I'm leaning one way or another right now.
Complicating matters for Alfredsson is the fact that he has not begun full workouts for an extended period of time because of an illness that has sidelined him for 10 days or so.
"When I get back to training and can push myself a little bit more, see how I handle that physically and mentally, then I'll know what to do," Alfredsson said.
There was a belief that Alfredsson, 39, would have decided already if he would return for a 17th season. But Alfredsson, who missed just seven games in 2011-12 and managed 59 points, struggles on a daily basis with the question.
He still lives the game and the improvement his club made this past season, but he also wants to go out on his own terms. Plus, he knows there is no turning back on the decision what it is made. The finality of it all looms rather large for the Senators captain.
"I think once you do call it quits, that's it," Alfredsson said. "You go through my career, I probably have felt numerous times that I am done -- I haven't played well, the team is struggling and this is it. Then you go on and something good happens and this is the best thing in the world.
"It's like any job in the world; you go through ups and downs. As you get older, it’s a physical game and to handle that and don't feel too banged up when you do retire -- you still want to be able to play with your kids -- there are so many factors that come into it."
But in the end, he knows that the answer will come to him -- likely sooner rather than later.
"It's more what is in my hearts or in my legs -- to handle a full season," he said.