Veteran forward Daniel Alfredsson has resumed skating in Sweden and could re-sign with the Detroit Red Wings in the coming weeks.
"My take is we're probably going to try do something with Alfie," Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland told MLive.com's Ansar Khan. "He had a good year, 18 goals. When he was healthy, he was valuable."
Alfredsson was Detroit's leading scorer last season with a team-high 49 points in 68 games, despite dealing with a lower back injury during the second half of the year.
The unrestricted free agent told the Red Wings earlier this offseason that he would either return to Detroit for a 20th NHL season or retire, depending on how he felt after a few weeks of skating in August. Holland admits that while Alfredsson's health is a concern, the 41-year-old can still contribute if he returns to Hockeytown.
"Certainly, I don't look at Alfie thinking he's going to play 82 games," Holland said. "When you got (Gustav) Nyquist and (Tomas) Tatar and (Tomas) Jurco and (Luke) Glendening and (Riley) Sheahan, if we can get a certain amount of games out of (Alfredsson), we would feel like he would be a real positive addition.
"But at the end of the day I think he wants to (skate) and we want to see him skate every day for 2-3 weeks and then let's see how he feels."
Alfredsson spent 18 years with the Ottawa Senators before signing a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Red Wings last offseason. Should he return to Detroit, the Red Wings would have 14 forwards on way-contracts, plus 21-year-old Tomas Jurco who had 15 points in 36 points with Detroit last season but is signed to an entry-level deal and can be assigned to AHL Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers.
While Alfredsson would be a welcome addition back in Detroit, so too would some better luck on the health front. The Red Wings set a franchise record last season with 421 man games lost to injury, with veterans Henrik Zetterberg (45 games played), Pavel Datsyuk (45 GP) and Johan Franzen (54 GP) all missing significant time.