NEW YORK -- Daniel Alfredsson was feeling empty inside in the moments after Game 7 Thursday. Even the Ottawa Senators' captain isn't quite sure what the loss will mean for him going forward.
Alfredsson, 39, has not committed to playing a 17th season, so there is a very real possibility that the 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers that ended the Senators' season will be his last game in the NHL.
"I don't know," he said well after he was showered and just before leaving Madison Square Garden. "After we have our meetings in a couple of days with coaches and management, I'll spend some time with the family and go from there."
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 15 | +/-: -3
If how he felt this season is any indication, Alfredsson, a finalist for the Masterton Trophy and the Senators' lone goal-scorer Thursday night, might not be able to walk away from his team and the one year, $1 million (according to capgeek.com) remaining on his contract.
"I'll take some time, obviously see how I feel physically and mentally after time off, but this year has been unbelievable," Alfredsson said. "I had a lot of fun, and it's been a great group of guys to be a part of. They've kept me upbeat and happy when I'm a grumpy old man at times. They've made this year very enjoyable for me."
Even in losing Game 7, Alfredsson and the Senators' fifth straight in as many tries dating back to 1997, the old captain had nothing but praise for his team.
"You know you gave everything you had and when it's done it's done, you can't change anything," he said. "The worst thing you can have is if you feel I should have done this and that, I didn't give everything I had. Then you feel pretty bad. But, this group can definitely hold its head high. We battled all year to get to the playoffs and then we battled these guys (the Rangers) to the finish line."
Now the hockey world is wondering if Alfredsson hit his finish line, too.
"Obviously you don't want to think that way and I certainly do not hope so," Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "It's totally his decision. It's just something that he has to talk over with his family and everybody that is close to him."