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Sergei Gonchar wants to stay with Senators for two more years

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Sergei Gonchar had three goals and 24 assists in 45 games this season. (USATSI)
Sergei Gonchar had three goals and 24 assists in 45 games this season. (USATSI)

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At 39 years old and heading into free agency, the future of Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar is pretty cloudy.

Before the season began, there were some suggestions that Gonchar would head back to Pittsburgh. It was also fair to wonder if he might simply retire; there aren't a ton of guys playing into their 40s. Add in the fact that he had a salary-cap hit of $5.5 million last season, and the questions abound.

But if it were up to Gonchar, he would play two more years in Ottawa before riding off into the sunset.

You have to figure that he will have to take a paycut. The Senators have room under the salary cap; that's not really the issue. But they likely won't be excited about paying Gonchar that kind of money for another couple of years at this point of his career.

Gonchar, always known for his offense on the back end, tried to help fill the void left by Erik Karlsson's injury this season. He had three goals and 24 assists in 45 games, not quite the monster numbers that he once put up, but certainly not useless. He added six assists in 10 playoff games, averaging an impressive 23:55 per game.

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