Alfredsson sees coaching in his future

Daniel Alfredsson didn't talk about when he'll make a decision on retirement but ruled out playing...

Daniel Alfredsson didn't talk about when he'll make a decision on retirement but ruled out playing in Sweden to finish his career. (Matthew Usherwood/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:01 AM ET

OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson hasnt ruled out wearing a whistle when his NHL playing career is officially over.

The Senators captain didnt shed any light on whether hell play again next season during a question-and-answer session with fans on the IIHFs website, but he did talk about what he wants to do after he stops playing.

Asked by one fan if hed like to be a head coach or an assistant, Alfredsson, 39, answered he could see himself in both roles once his career is over at some point.

But Alfredsson seemed to suggest his playing career has some life left because hes not planning to start calling the shots as a coach in the near future.

I think Id be both. I dont see myself coaching too soon, said Alfredsson. I think it takes even more time at the rink than it does as a player to prepare (chuckles). Right now, I dont think Im ready for that.

But I like the strategic aspect of the game. I think I read the game really well. I try to talk to our coaches about things Id like to see at times. Im interested in how the coaches think. I like that part of it. So I think Id be a bit of both types. I think I can also challenge guys and motivate them in different ways.

Those comments come on the heels of Senators coach Paul MacLean saying last month that even if Alfredsson doesnt return as a player, hell either be back in the front office or behind the bench as an assistant.

If Alfredsson does retire next month, hell likely accept a role in the Ottawa front office similar to the VP/senior advisor role Steve Yzerman had with the Detroit Red Wings before accepting the GMs job in Tampa.

Alfredsson did rule out finishing his career in Europe.

I will retire as a Senator. I wont play in the Swedish league again, he said. There are a few reasons. Once I feel like Im done in the NHL, I think Im done because mentally and physically I dont feel like I can contribute as much as I would like or motivate myself.

You know, if you go back to the Swedish league and try to play when youre not motivated, its even worse, because its more skating and its even harder. So I will retire as an Ottawa Senator.

Alfredsson said returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 made last season enjoyable.

Going into the season with the team we had, it was the first time I could remember that we didnt have high expectations on ourselves, said Alfredsson. Being able to almost overachieve, I think everybody bought into what the coaching staff was selling. We worked extremely hard, but we also had a lot of fun doing it.

One of the most interesting queries came from a fan who wanted Alfredsson to compare teammate Erik Karlsson to Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom.

You know, its tough to compare someone to Lidstrom, one of the best defencemen in the modern era. They are different players, too, in the ways they play, said Alfredsson. Nicklas is more of a solid guy that plays in every situation. Erik might get there, but hes more of an offensive guy. Hes definitely improved his defensive play, but hes more of an explosive guy that joins the rush all the time. I think Nicklas picks his spots more, and he never makes a mistake. Hes just solid, night in and night out. Erik has that potential to be a superstar, theres no question. I also think he might almost change the way you want the defencemen to play, too, a little bit.

Spoken like a coach in waiting.


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