A thousand games in, Alfie having grand time

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:44 PM ET

The clock is ticking on Daniel Alfredsson’s career.

But the 37-year-old Senators star, the NHL’s longest-serving captain, is back for his 15th season and still wants to hang around for a bit. Ready to suit up for Game No. 1,003 of his career, Alfredsson is only eight points shy of 1,000.

With three years left on his contract, he said he intends “to play a few more years.”

“I know that I don’t have 10 years left here,” Alfredsson said. “I know that my career is winding down. I’m fine with that. I’m very happy with who I am and the way I feel.

“Being with this team — and in this city — and playing this game, I’m really enjoying it and I just want to try to push myself and see what’s left in the tank.”

There were concerns last spring that Alfredsson had lost a step. He didn’t look good in a first-round playoff series loss to the Penguins, and it was revealed after the series he had a sports hernia. He had surgery in May, returned to playing golf in June and was back on the ice in August — earlier than he had been in years because he wanted to make sure he was in the best shape he could be for camp.

“I don’t think we can say that we have a team that should win the Cup, but we can definitely challenge for it,” said Alfredsson.

He took notice of what the Philadelphia Flyers did last spring — making the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, then coming back from a 3-0 series deficit against Boston before losing to Chicago in the final.

“I think Philly underachieved during the regular season and played the way everybody thought they would in the playoffs,” said Alfredsson. “You have to be in the playoffs, first of all. Then, a lot of things gotta go right.

“Philly was almost out against Boston, found a way to make a miraculous comeback and got on a roll. That’s why it’s exciting. If you can get into the playoffs, you have a chance to go far and maybe all the way. That’s what everybody dreams about.”

Alfredsson would love to win a Stanley Cup before he calls it quits. He came close in 2007, but the Senators lost the final to Anaheim.

“That’s the ultimate goal,” said Alfredsson. “But if I don’t win (the Cup), I’m not going to say I’m really disappointed.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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