Despite tweaking his back, Daniel Alfredsson has been skating intermittently over the last two weeks (today included) to see if he can play one more season with the Detroit Red Wings. Fellow Swede and teammate Henrik Zetterberg told the Red Wings website that this is a crucial time as far as that decision-making process goes.
“Says he feels better and I think this week will be an important week, and hopefully he will be with us next week,” Zetterberg said. “I think it was a wise decision for him to really take the time now and do his rehab and really give it a last shot. Hopefully it will work.”
(Zetterberg, 33, sounded optimistic regarding his own back issues, which really flared up during the 2014 Winter Olympics.)
While this is obviously an important time for Alfredsson, 41, it sounds like the Red Wings aren’t putting an ultimatum on making a final choice regarding playing or retiring this week. MLive.com notes that GM Ken Holland is OK with with waiting “well into the season” for a decision, if needed.
Alfredsson’s last contract included a base salary of $3.5 million with $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The Red Wings have about $3.08 million in cap space at this moment (via Cap Geek), so it seems likely that Alfredsson would need to take a smaller deal if he’s healthy enough to play in 2014-15.
Alfredsson scored 49 points in 68 games with Detroit in 2013-14, tying Niklas Kronwall for the team scoring lead, so it’s easy to see why the Red Wings are willing to work through the veteran forward’s situation.
Daniel Alfredsson has yet to make a decision on whether he will resume his playing career, but according to Detroit Red Wings general manager, Ken Holland, he’s progressing well.
Alfredsson, 41, has delayed the decision on his future due to a nagging back injury.
The former Ottawa Senators captain stopped skating altogether earlier this month after tweaking his back.
“I saw him yesterday, he said he’s feeling better every day and if he has a good weekend we’ll talk on Monday,” Holland told Michigan Live. “He’s done lots on his own. He’s in the process of evaluating himself.”
Alfredsson appeared in 68 games last season for the Red Wings scoring 18 goals and 49 points – his first season in Detroit.
After spending 17 seasons with the Senators, Alfredsson played on a one-year $3.5 million deal last season with the Red Wings.
It took a while, but Danny DeKeyser has signed on the line that is dotted.
On Tuesday, Detroit announced it’s agreed to a two-year pact with DeKesyer, ending a contractual stalemate that lasted nearly the entire offseason as the Red Wings open camp on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Per The Hockey News, the deal is worth $4.375 million over the two years, good for a $2.187M annual cap hit. It’s a nice bump from the $925,000 DeKeyser made yearly on his first NHL deal and still gives Detroit the flexibility to entertain re-signing veteran Daniel Alfredsson, who will miss training camp after tweaking his back while skating.
For DeKeyser, getting this deal done is a big relief.
The 24-year-old admitted this week that he was beginning to get “anxious” about the lack of movement in negotiations, this after Wings GM Ken Holland said talks between him and the DeKeyser camp had “gone quiet.” That said, both sides always seemed optimistic about reaching a deal, and with good reason — DeKesyer made no bones about wanting to be in Detroit, and the Wings know he’s the future of their blueline.
DeKesyer is coming off a solid ’13-14 season — his first full NHL campaign — in which he scored 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI per night, bumping that to 23 minutes per in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston. He’s expected to carry an even bigger load this season as the Red Wings failed to land any significant blueliners in free agency.
From the Detroit Free Press:
The odds that Daniel Alfredsson goes to training camp without a contract have increased after a setback in his skating.
Alfredsson “felt a little bit of a tweak,” last week, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Wednesday. Alfredsson has held off on re-signing with the Wings pending assessment of back pain that comes and goes. He’d been skating daily with the Wings for about a week until the reoccurrence of pain. A decision was made to stop skating until Alfredsson feels better.
This latest flare-up – coming after a long off-season tending to his back – doesn’t bode well for playing another season.
Alfredsson is 41 years old, so it’s more than possible he ends up retiring. Only three skaters were older than he was in 2013-14 — Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr, and Ray Whitney. The first retired and the third is “at peace” with possibly hanging them up.
That being said, Alfredsson did manage to score 18 goals, with 31 assists, last season. Also, he’s never won a Stanley Cup, so the opportunity for one more shot at the crown could be a motivating factor.
Danny DeKeyser has preached nothing but optimism this summer regarding a new deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
But on Wednesday, Ken Holland went in a slightly different direction.
“We had a number of productive talks until a couple of weeks ago,” the Red Wings GM told MLive. “It’s gone quiet the last couple of weeks.
“It’s gotten to a point where it’s difficult because there aren’t many comparables.”
That last bit shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, because DeKesyer’s situation is unique. After going undrafted, DeKeyser spent three years at Western Michigan before signing with Detroit as a free agent in 2013 — meaning he’s now 24, with just 76 games of NHL experience.
(Comparatively speaking, Jets d-man Zach Bogosian — who turned 24 in July — has 352 games under his belt.)
Despite the relatively small body of work, there’s no denying DeKeyser’s impact in Detroit. He’s the future of the team’s defense and his ’13-14 season — his first full NHL campaign — was a good one; he scored 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI per night, bumping that to 23 minutes per in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston.
Compounding the DeKeyser issue is Detroit’s current financial situation. The Wings are roughly $5 million away from the cap ceiling and still making overtures at Daniel Alfredsson to return for another season. It’s a balancing act Holland alluded to in speaking with MLive.
“It’s important to get a deal done that’s fair for the player and fair for the club,” he explained. “Hopefully it can get done before camp.”