Swan song for former Caps D Gonchar?

Swan song for former Caps D Gonchar?
May 25, 2013, 1:15 am
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Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says that he will “take some time” to decide whether he will retire from professional hockey or return for an 18th NHL season.

The Senators’ season ended Friday with a 6-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“We'll have our meetings in the next couple of days, we'll take some time, I'll talk to [general manager] Bryan [Murray] and see what he thinks," Alfredsson told reporters in Pittsburgh. "It's been a great year in terms of the group we've had, the adversity we faced; we’ve become a tight group and we stuck together. It's been a lot of fun. I'll take that with me when I decide on what to do.”

Alfredsson is Ottawa’s franchise leader in games played (1,178), goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108) and he is the longest serving active captain in the NHL, having worn the ‘C’ in Ottawa since 1999.

Meanwhile, Friday may have also been the final NHL game for former Capitals defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar spent the past three seasons with the Senators but the 39-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Gonchar was Washington’s first-round pick (14th overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft and spent parts of 10 seasons with the Caps. He was eventually traded to the Boston Bruins in Marc 2004 for prospect Shaone Morrisonn and a pair of 2004 draft picks that were later used on Jeff Schultz (27th overall) and Mikhail Yunkov (62nd overall).

Gonchar is the last active player remaining from the 1997-98 Capitals – the only team in franchise history to reach the Stanley Cup Finals- and his 53 career power play goals with the Caps remain a franchise record for a defenseman.

Gonchar also ranks No.1 among all Russian defenseman in NHL history with 1,177 games, 217 goals and 775 points.



The captain of that 1998 Capitals team, Dale Hunter, also saw his season end Friday as the London Knights were eliminated from the Memorial Cup.

The Knights fell 2-1 to the Portland Winterhawks in the best-of-one national semifinal in the Canadian Hockey League. Portland will face the Halifax Mooseheads in the best-of-one national championship on Sunday.

Hunter returned to London this season after replacing Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in Washington in Nov. 2011. Hunter led the Knights to a regular-season division title, an Ontario Hockey League championship and became the eighth coach in OHL history with 500 career wins.