With 49 points in 68 games, Daniel Alfredsson tied Niklas Kronwall for the Detroit Red Wings’ team lead and appears pretty eager to play another season. On the other hand, he’s 42, presenting plenty of questions about how much longer he can be a valuable contributor.
It sounds like the Red Wings aren’t ready to answer that question just yet. GM Ken Holland told TSN 1020 that the decision won’t be made until September and even told Ian Mendes that a training camp tryout isn’t out of the question. Holland sounded unconvinced either way, noting that Alfredsson plans on staying in Detroit with his family in the interim.
Holland cites the team’s significant uncertainty regarding injuries as a factor in the situation.
(Kukla’s Korner’s George Malik found the audio, with the Alfredsson discussion kicking in around the eight-minute mark, if you want to hear more.)
It’s probably fair to say that the biggest argument against bringing back Alfredsson revolves around age, or at least the idea that he might take opportunities from players who are in the meat of their prime years. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar had a big impact on the team’s surge to a playoff spot amid injuries to a wide array of players, yet Winging It in Motown points out that Alfredsson received heavy usage on the power play; would those minutes provide valuable opportunities to Tatar, Nyquist or even Anthony Mantha?
Training camp could indeed provide a valuable opportunity to make such an assessment, even if doesn’t really provide a big window of observation. There are some solid arguments for both sides of the equation, so it’s easy to see why the Red Wings aren’t making that call just yet.