LONDON, ONT. - The Senators are going to spend this season trying to convince Daniel Alfredsson to stay.
While the NHL's longest-serving captain has been talking about the possibility this could be his last season, the Sens are hopeful by the end of the season it will be all talk and no action.
"We're going to try to influence (Alfredsson) to play as long as possible," said centre Jason Spezza. "The better the year we have as a team and as individuals, the more maybe he'll want to stick around.
"He's talked about (retirement before). He's said the last couple of years he didn't know if they were going to be his last. For him, it's a great approach. You know he's going to give it his all."
Spezza said he understands Alfredsson's health concerns.
"He's thinking more about his body right now, but if he's healthy maybe he'll want to play longer if he's feeling good."
Spezza said coach Paul MacLean has been a key change to the attitude around the Ottawa room.
"(MacLean) has brought in a really good, hard-working attitude," said Spezza. "He has confidence in himself and it rubs off on the players. Everybody is having a good time, but our practices have been really hard.
"It's still been competitive and fun and the team still seems to have a really good attitude going into the season. Nobody is worried about what happened last year. We're really in the present right now and that means a lot for us."
REGIN GETTING BETTER
No decision has been made on whether centre Peter Regin will suit up against the Wings. He took part in the club’s one-hour practice but didn’t take any contact.
Coach Paul MacLean said it was a step in the right direction.
“We’re still optimistic for Friday,” said MacLean. “I thought he was more of a participant — which is a good sign. We’ll take the day (Thursday) and get a better read to see how he is. I thought it was a good sign that he did more in the practice than he did (Wednesday).”
The Senators will practice in the Joe Louis Arena Thursday in preparation for Friday’s game against the Wings. The club made a two-hour bus ride from London and had a team dinner in downtown Detroit Wednesday night.