Senators’ GM Murray will give Alfredsson plenty of room to make decision about next year

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray going to keep his distance from Daniel Alfredsson.

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray going to keep his distance from Daniel Alfredsson.

Until Alfredsson comes to him to say he’s either playing another year or retiring, Murray his not going to pester his captain – though Murray has said he’d like to know before free agency starts on July 5.

“ I’ve been waiting on Daniel,” Murray said Friday night.

“I think it’s fair from the point of view of his career and his life after hockey at some point in time, to allow him time to make the decision that is right for his family and for the rest of his career.

“I haven’t pursued that and I’m not going to until he tells me he’s ready to talk about it.”

Alfredsson himself said he hasn’t even begun to think about it.

“It hasn’t really started yet, to be honest,” he said after winning the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

“I’ve just allowed myself to take it easy, spend some time with the family, to relax, get a feeling of how my body feels, how I feel.

“Probably the next few weeks here I’ll start thinking more concrete about it. The people around town has been unbelievable. They’ve all been very positive and supportive.”

He said he’d be talking to a number of people over the next few weeks – including his wife Bibi, Murray, and coach Paul MacLean – but wasn’t really sure how it would unfold.

“I can’t say I have a plan exactly how I’m going to follow that, but I’m going to talk to people and go from there and see where it takes me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Murray has another contractual matter to deal with soon: signing MacLean, who is entering the final year of his contract, to extension.

One thing’s for sure. It’ll cost Murray more tomorrow than it would have two days ago after MacLean won the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach.

But Murray wasn’t worried about that on Friday.

His main thought was to congratulate MacLean and Alfredsson.

“We are very proud that both Daniel and Paul received recognition around the league,” said Murray.

“I think it speaks for what they are – in one case an outstanding player and leader, and in Paul’s case, he’s a guy who has really stepped up here and done a real fine job coaching.

“He’s certainly allowed players to develop and make us competitive every night. The organization is proud of that.

“It’s an organizational recognition, there’s no question about it. But for the individuals involved I think it’s important and it’s awfully nice for them.”

He said MacLean’s new contract will get done shortly.

“We have had conversions about his contract and that’s about it for now,” said Murray.

“There is nothing at the moment, but hopefully. We like what he does with us and I hope he likes what we do for him, with him. And we will address that contract issue very shortly.”

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