Bryan Murray spoke with Daniel Alfredsson last week about the decision currently facing the 39-year-old — retire, or return to Ottawa for one more season.
Based on their conversation, the Sens GM is cautiously optimistic about the latter.
“There is still no final decision on anything, but we had a very good conversation,” Murray told the Ottawa Citizen. “We did talk about the team, what has happened around the team. There was interest on his part in what was going on.”
Murray said he didn’t ask about retirement directly, though.
“I’m not going to ask that question,” he explained. “But the impression I got was a good one.”
The Senators have been active through the two weeks of free agency. They lost Matt Carkner (Islanders), Zenon Konopka (Wild) and Filip Kuba (Panthers), but added Guillaume Latendresse and Mike Lundin from Minnesota. Murray also pulled the trigger on a deal that saw Nick Foligno go to Columbus in exchange for Marc Methot.
The Sens also retained the services Alfredsson’s longtime teammate, Chris Neil. The two have been in Ottawa together since 2001.
That sense of familiarity might be key in getting Alfie back to the Canadian capital. While the Sens have undergone some changes, most of Alfredsson’s longtime running mates — Neil, Chris Phillips, Jason Spezza — are still around, and the team will look very similar to the one that finished a surprising eighth in the Eastern Conference last year.
There’s also a sense that, with over $20 million in available cap space and a whack of prospects in the system, Ottawa’s in prime position to make a deal to obtain some high-priced talent — something that could play a role in luring Alfredsson back for one more year.