What Alfie's deal is all about

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators are going to get a glimpse of life without captain Daniel Alfredsson in the playoffs.

They might not like what they see.

That's why the Senators could sit down with Alfredsson this summer to see if they can get him signed to a long-term contract extension or risk losing him next summer as an unrestricted free agent.

While it would be difficult to imagine Alfredsson -- who will be sidelined for at least the first round of the playoffs because of knee and neck injuries -- playing for anybody else, the possibility of him becoming a UFA does exist.

Under the terms of Alfredsson's contract with the Senators, he is scheduled to make $5.465 million US next season. Three option years -- all at $3.8 million per-year -- then kick in at the start of the 2009-10 season.

That's where it becomes tricky. Under the terms of the agreement, if Alfredsson plays in 70 or more regular-season games and averages a point per game, then he has the right to decide if he wants to return the next season.

Should Alfredsson not meet the point requirements, then it's up to Ottawa management to decide if they want him to return the next year. The same rules exists for the final two options years of the contract.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has a lot of respect for Alfredsson. The two speak on a regular basis by telephone or when the former is in town. Melnyk told Sun Media earlier this year he would like to keep Alfredsson in the fold after his career.

OFF THE GLASS

The season is over for 14 teams as of tonight, so let the second-guessing begin. The man feeling the most heat is Florida coach and GM Jacques Martin. Missing the playoffs isn't sitting well with Panthers owner Alan Cohen. Sources say team president Michael Yormark has accused the club's poor attendance and lousy sponsorship numbers on team performance. Cohen could be looking at a two-headed monster, like the Dallas Stars have with Les Jackson and Brett Hull. While Joe Nieuwendyk could take more of a role in the front office, the talk is the Panthers might hire former Boston assistant GM Jeff Gorton to work with the longtime NHL great. It's believed Cohen has a lot of respect for Gorton. "It's up to the owner," Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun said. "When something like this happens, usually there are changes, in the sense there should be changes."

AROUND THE BOARDS

Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford likely won't be back. GM Dean Lombardi has been getting heat and there's an awful lot of talk the Kings players are getting a little tired of Crawford's act. He's an emotional guy and expects a lot from his players ... What's this we hear about CBC analyst Craig Simpson returning to the Oilers in a management role after the season? He gave up an assistant coaching job with Edmonton to go back to the booth ... Why is there talk the Canucks might try to lure back GM Brian Burke from Anaheim? The thought is he's going to take over the Leafs ... The Avalanche won't comment on the return of coach Joel Quenneville, who was a finalist for the Ottawa job when former GM John Muckler hired Murray.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

Vancouver winger Markus Naslund, a UFA, isn't likely to return next season. The word is the Canucks believe it's time to move on. Don't be surprised if they try to keep centre Brendan Morrison ... The Oilers will shop goalie Dwayne Roloson, who has a year left on his contract ... The Flyers will keep coach John Stevens, despite rumours to the contrary ... Columbus defenceman Ron Hainsey, who will be a UFA this summer, won't be back because he'll be one of the most valuable players on the market ... Don't expect Minnesota winger Pavol Demitra to return. The talk is he would like to play where there's warm weather. The Lightning might be a good fit ... Speaking of the Bolts, once the sale of the team is complete, GM Jay Feaster and coach John Tortorella could be on their way out the door. The Hockey News recently ranked all 30 GMs and Feaster was last on the list. That, and the club's record, doesn't bode well for the future.


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