Luke Richardson wants to play one more season in Ottawa.
But whether the Senators can accommodate the 39-year-old defenceman remains to be seen.
While a younger player might be worried about his future, Richardson, an Ottawa native who played 76 games for the Senators last season, has been around the NHL long enough to know that things happen for a reason, so he'll continue to prepare as though he'll play this season.
Richardson, who made $500,000 (all terms US) last season, is ready to go to camp without a contract, but with the Senators already committing more than $48 million under the $56.3-million salary cap for 2008-09, there might not be much left in the kitty for the 19-year NHL veteran.
Richardson pondered retirement in the off-season, but wants to give it one more shot.
If it doesn't work out, Richardson likely has a bright future in a coaching, scouting or management role in the NHL.
Right now, his desire burns to take another shot at trying to win a Stanley Cup.
"I know now that you have to be patient," Richardson said before heading to the gym for a workout yesterday afternoon. "You never know how long these decisions are going to take. This might not be something that happens until (the Senators) actually get to camp.
"I'd like to play. I've been getting ready to play. I feel good and I just made a decision that I'd like to come back to play one more season. We'll see what happens. I feel good. I'd like to think that with all the hard work I've done that I can get a chance. I want this to pay off."
The Senators are in a tough spot where Richardson is concerned. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray appreciated everything he did for the organization last season, the role he played in the dressing room and, most importantly, the solid play he brought on the ice.
But the Senators already have defencemen Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Christoph Schubert, Brian Lee, Jason Smith, Lawrence Nycholat, Brendan Bell and Matt Carkner under contract. While talks with 22-year-old restricted free-agent blueliner Andrej Meszaros continue.