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.