It’s starting to look a little like last season for Daniel Alfredsson.
The 41-year-old Detroit Red Wings forward is again weighing his thoughts on whether he wants to play another season. As Bob Duff of The Windsor Star shares, Alfie is leaning towards playing again but recognizes it has to end eventually.
“There’s a lot of factors that play in, mentally, physically and family,” Alfredsson said. “I still love the game, there’s no question about that. At the same time, you’ve got to end it sometime.”
Don’t expect the same kind of dance to develop between Alfredsson and the Red Wings like he had with the Ottawa Senators last summer.
Alfredsson led the Wings in scoring and he said he’ll take as long as he needs to figure out if he can give it another go. As Duff shared, Detroit GM Ken Holland told Alfredsson they won’t start making decisions on the roster until mid-June.
Detroit will have to make decisions on where some veterans up front belong on the roster as Alfredsson, David Legwand, Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, and Danny Cleary are all unrestricted free agents. With the emergence of young guys like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, and Riley Sheahan there could be a significant drop in the average age of the team next season.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.