DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings are still awaiting official word on what Daniel Alfredsson plans to do this season.
But all signs point to him not playing and most likely deciding to retire.
Darren Dreger of TSN.ca reported that Alfredsson has decided not to play this season due to a lingering disc issue in his back that has been continually aggravated by the wear and tear of game action.
An announcement could come as early as Monday, which would be fitting since the Wings host the Ottawa Senators, a team he spent his first 17 seasons with and 13 of those he was their captain.
Alfredsson’s agent, J.P. Barry, told the Wings earlier this week that it wasn’t looking good for a comeback attempt.
Alfredsson, who’ll turn 42 on Dec. 11, had this same back issue towards the end of last season, which also sidelined him.
Despite playing in just 68 games in his first season in Detroit, Alfredsson finished tied for the team lead in points (49) and had 18 goals.
He did tell the Wings in June that he wanted to play another season, but he needed to make sure his back could hold up before finally deciding on his future.
Alfredsson did skate with teammates a few days leading up to training camp in September, but then shut things down when his back started acting up again.
He did not attend training camp.
He tried again to skate a few consecutive days after camp, but once again had to shut things down.
The team would have liked to have Alfredsson back, if he was healthy, to play 60-to-65 games since he provided a right-handed shot at the point on the power play.
They weren’t going to sign him to a one-year deal until they saw he could practice a couple weeks to make sure he suffered no other setbacks.
“He understands we’re running a hockey team and what goes on with our team affects our day-to-day decisions,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said a month ago. “That doesn’t have anything to do with Alfredsson until he calls and says he wants to discuss his next move.”
Alfredsson has 444 goals and 713 assists in 1,246 NHL games.
He represented Sweden in five Olympics, winning the gold medal in 2006, but has never won the Stanley Cup.