Sergei Gonchar wants to remain with Senators

USA TODAY Sports

Veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar plans to continue his career in the NHL and hopes to do so with the Ottawa Senators.

Sergei Gonchar stated on Monday morning that he is interested in playing two more years in the NHL. If he has it his way, those final years will be as a member of the Ottawa Senators.

In the wake of the team's elimination from the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, Ottawa players had locker clean-out day and final media availability on Monday morning. Gonchar played out the final year of a three-year, $16.5 million contract that carried an annual average value of $5.5 million against the salary cap in 2013. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

When asked about his future plans, Gonchar expressed his desire to stay with the Ottawa franchise. Signed as an unrestricted free agent in July 2010, the 39-year-old defender has spent the last three years with the team. While he hopes to extend that time, Gonchar understands the business side of the equation and that other factors might not allow that to happen.

Gonchar played in 45 games during the regular season and accumulated 27 points (three goals, 24 assists). He averaged just under 24 minutes of ice time per game during the regular season (second most on club), which included substantial time on the penalty kill (2:14) and power play (3:43) units.

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