Alfredsson on lockout: “The longer it’s been going here, I don’t feel as eager to get back”

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In July, Daniel Alfredsson sounded excited about returning to Ottawa for the 2012-13 season.

Three months later, that tone has changed.

The locked-out Senators captain now sounds like a man prepared to face the possibility of retirement — something he suggested to Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun on Tuesday.

“I think the longer [the lockout’s] been going here, I don’t feel as eager to get back,” Alfredsson said. “I’d say I’m more relaxed. If it happens, it happens.”

The 39-year-old has been keeping in shape by skating with the rest of his locked-out mates at Ottawa’s Sensplex, but realizes the longer he’s away from the game, the harder it’ll be to come back.

“I can’t say I’ve at all been frustrated or really looking forward to coming to the rink,” he said. “I love it when I’m on the ice and I have fun, but at the same time, at this stage, I know I have to look forward as well.

Alfredsson certainly sounds non-committal at this point and the real uncertainty, it seems, is if the lockout were to go until (hypothetically speaking) January, or a date even further in the future.

Alfredsson says it’s impossible to say how he’ll feel weeks or months from now, but says the constant updates of negotiating strife have already had a negative effect.

“You read every little thing,” he said. “You read into it, and as time goes on and nothing happens, you kind of tune out of it.

“You get tired of it.”