Daniel Alfredsson has informed the Detroit Red Wings that he would like return to the club for the 2014-15 season.
An unrestricted free agent, Alfredsson told reporters at the end of last season that he would either return to play for the Wings this year or retire.
Alfredsson has made his decision, but it may not be as cut and dry as many once believed.
"We talked today, we’ll talk again later in the week," said Wings General Manager Ken Holland. "At this stage of the game, he’s not announcing he’s retiring. We’ll have another conversation."
Holland indicated that the Wings have a full plate as they prepare for this week’s NHL draft (June 27th and 28th), NHL free agency (beginning July 1st), signing their restricted free agents (Danny DeKeyser, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan), determining which UFA’s to bring back and entertaining trade offers.
"He (Alfredsson) understands we’re going to Philly for the draft, there’s lots of trade rumors," Holland said. "There are a lot of unknowns. I’ll be meeting with the agents of our restricted free agents. All these things factor into what I’m thinking."
In other words, whoever the Wings acquire through free agency and/or trade, plus the cost of signing their own RFA’s will impact whether or not Alfredsson returns.
Detroit is also committed to a youth movement going forward, and unfortunately for Alfredsson, 41, he could get boxed out in the transition.
If the Wings cannot meet Alfredsson’s price tag when their maneuvering is done, he may just opt out and retire.
After spending 17 years with the Ottawa Senators, Alfredsson shocked the hockey world last offseason by signing a one-year free agent deal with the Wings, worth $5.5 million ($3.5 million in salary, $2 million in bonuses).
It was a seamless transition from the Senators to the Wings, as Alfredsson blended in well with his Detroit teammates.
In 68 games played last season, Alfredsson had 49 points with 18 goals, 31 assists and was a plus-2, despite having a nagging back issue that flared up throughout the season.