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.