Thirty-nine-year-old captain Daniel Alfredsson stopped the speculation Tuesday and confirmed he won’t be hanging up his skates. Instead, he’ll put on his No. 11 sweater and return for his 17th season with the Senators. Alfredsson confirmed an Ottawa Sun report last week that he’s been talking about an extension with GM Bryan Murray, but said he will play out the final year of his deal at his $1 million salary. That will make him one of the NHL’s best bargains. Alfredsson said he made the decision last week and his wife Bibbi along with his four kids are fully supportive.
Alfredsson said he needed to test himself in rigorous off-season training to see if his body could withstand another NHL campaign before deciding whether to return. The result was positive. Alfredsson will return for a 17th season with the only NHL team he has known and where he has been captain since 1999-2000.
The gifted playmaker and scorer has amassed 416 goals, 666 assists for 1,082 points in 1,131 games — all team records. He holds the same records in the playoffs, with 111 games, 47 goals, 43 assists and 90 points. He had suggested he might retire after last season, when he had 27 goals and 32 assists in 75 games and helped Ottawa reach the playoffs. The Senators lost in seven games in the first round to the New York Rangers. He also said staying on for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia did not factor into his decision as it was too far in the future to contemplate. Alfredsson won Olympic gold in 2006 with Sweden.
Alfredsson’s history goes back to the club’s early years. He was drafted 133rd overall in 1994 by Ottawa, and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1996. The six-time all-star had a career-high 43 goals and 103 points in 2005-06.