Sens' Donovan itching to play in NHL

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

Shean Donovan has decided hes going to play hockey this season.

Hes just not sure where.

Only 49 games shy of reaching the 1,000 milestone in his NHL career, the 35-year-old winger, a Carleton Place native who has suited up the past three years for the Senators, would like play one more year.

But with time ticking away toward the opening of training camps and with more than 40-50 unrestricted free agents still looking for work, Donovan isnt sure hell get that one last opportunity.

I just want the chance to play. Thats the most important thing to me, said Donovan Thursday.

While Donovans lawyer Larry Kelly has talked to a couple of NHL teams that might be looking for help, there havent been any solid offers.

While Donovan has been delaying a decision, there are two good offers from teams in Europe. Hed like to wait a little longer to see what happens on the NHL front.

In 951 career games, Donovan, drafted by San Jose in 1993, has 112 goals and 129 assists, with 705 penalty minutes. He has established himself as solid penalty killer throughout his career.

I know a lot of the European teams are in training camp, so a decision has to be made there soon, said Donovan.

If I get a feel here in the next couple of weeks and if Larry tells me that theres pretty much no chance of me playing (in the NHL), Ive told him Im pretty realistic.

If theres no chance of me getting a deal, then Ill be okay with Europe and well make a decision about where were going to go in Europe. The decision is going to be about my family and whats the best situation for them.

Donovan has worked hard to stay in shape this summer. He has been skating with Senators winger Chris Neil and some of his family on a regular basis. This week, Donovan is focusing on training in the gym.

Donovan played only a limited role with the Senators, struggling with a knee injury that forced him to miss 14 games last season.

Ive told every team Ive spoken with in Europe that Im committed to trying to play in the NHL first, said Donovan. Im just going to wait until training camp. Ive let them know thats where Im at.

I will play somewhere. A couple of (NHL) teams have said they were interested, but every team has been dealing with things like arbitrations and getting their own free agents signed.

I dont really know what Im going to do here.

Donovan said the indecision has been hard on his wife Teresa.

Wherever we go, its going to be the same for me because Ill walk into the dressing room and have instant friends, said Donovan. The biggest adjustment will be for Teresa and the family.


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