The Senators’ 2011-12 joy ride may be over, but there’s still drama to be monitored off the ice. Here is some of what lies ahead in the summer months:
Will he or won’t he?
After incurring a concussion in the playoffs — his second in six months — Daniel Alfredsson is contemplating retirement. The Senators legend notched 27 goals after off-season back surgery, earning him a Bill Masterton Trophy nomination for his dedication and perseverance. Alfredsson, 39, has accepted an invitation to play for Sweden at the world championship. Hopefully for Sens fans, this is a sign Alfie has plenty left in the tank.
Restricted free agents.
According to Erik Karlsson, contract negotiations should be easy. The only question is does the Norris Trophy nominee receive $6 or $7 million per year? Nick Foligno and an improved Jim O’Brien will be re-upped. Kaspars Daugavins may have to accept a two-way offer. However, there is uncertainty surrounding Peter Regin. Does the club extend a qualifying offer to a player who is still recovering from season-ending shoulder surgery. With all four centre positions filled, is there room for the Great Dane?
Who stays, who goes?
The Senators have several unrestricted free agents. Alex Auld and Matt Gilroy will most certainly be searching for new addresses. GM Bryan Murray has to make decisions regarding Matt Carkner, Zenon Konopka, Filip Kuba and Jesse Winchester. Carkner and Konopka will have to accept reduced roles if they wish to remain teammates. Kuba did not have a solid post-season, but he is Karlsson’s partner. It will be interesting to see if an offer is forthcoming to the Czech native. Winchester suffered his second concussion of the season in Game 5 and his situation is tenuous.
Murray expressed a desire to acquire a defensive defenceman and a 25-30 goal-scoring forward. Local product Mark Borowiecki may fill the bill on the back end and a challenge has been issued to Foligno to be that forward, but look to the Senators to go outside the organization to fill these needs.
And let’s not forget hotshot prospects Jakob Silfverberg, Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad will all be vying for roster spots in September.
At the locker cleanout, Foligno said he would like next season to start “in a couple of weeks.” There’s an entire pumped-up fanbase that would echo that sentiment.