DETROIT >> When Detroit was eliminated from the playoffs, Daniel Alfredsson all but said if he returns for a 19th season he would do so with the Red Wings.
It appears he’s getting closer to making a decision to do just that.
“He’s thinking about returning,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview Monday. “We’ll talk more before July first.”
The only concern seems to be with his back, which caused him to miss a handful of games towards the end of the regular season along with two of the five games in the series with Boston.
“He’s not announcing he’s retiring so we’ll have another conversation,” said Holland, who added there a lot of trade talks heading up to the draft in Philadelphia this weekend. “There are a lot of unknowns. I’ll meet with the agents of our restricted free agents. All these things factor into what I’m thinking.”
Holland also plans to talk the agents of restricted free agents Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser this week and hopefully Riley Sheahan.
Alfredsson had 18 goals and 31 assists in 68 regular season games, but didn’t record a point in the postseason.
“At the moment if I come back, that’s the likely scenario (coming back to Detroit),” Alfredsson said after the Wings’ loss in Game 5 to the Bruins. “As a family we’ve had a fabulous time in Detroit. Everybody likes it. That’s check one, I guess.”
His 49 points was tops on the team.
“I think there is promise with this team,” Alfredsson said. “It will probably be some time before I have a decision. When that is, I’m not sure. The sooner the better, I’d like to think.”
When pushed more on whether he would return or not the veteran said, “I really don’t know. There’s a lot of factors that play in, mentally, physically and family. I still love the game, there’s no question about that. At the same time, you’ve got to end it sometime. I’m sure I’ll be talking to my wife and we’ll come to a decision together.”
Alfredsson, 41, signed a one-year worth $3.5 million on the first day of free agency last year, leaving Ottawa where he had spent his entire 17-year career prior. He had been the league’s longest serving captain until the move.
Alfredsson originally said he left Ottawa to join the Wings because he felt Detroit had a better chance at winning the Stanley Cup that has eluded him throughout his career.
Then, during a press conference in Ottawa on Aug. 15, he said the move was aided by a broken promise by the Senators.