Devils forwards Bobby Holik and Brendan Shanahan both said they will take their time before making a decison about whether they want to retire or come back for another season in the NHL.
"As of 48 hours ago, I was preparing and thinking our team and specifically our line would be going head-to-head against the Capitals and (Alex) Ovechkin, which I was really looking forward to," Shanahan said. "It's obviously too soon to reflect on any other decisions."
Shanahan said he enjoyed returning to the Devils this season. After sitting out the first half of the season while waiting for a team to make him an offer, he signed a one-year, $800,000 contracdt (pro-rated) with the Devils on Jan. 14.
"In the last couple of weeks here, I had my lip split open, my chin split open, I got stitches in my eyelid and I got hit so hard in Game 6 that it actually knocked one of my false teeth out," Shanahan said. "And I loved every minute of it. I guess after each thing occuring, I drove home at the end of the night feeling so lucky that I was still able to do this and perform at a high level and I was really enjoying it. I just expected it to go a lot longer."
Shanahan, 40, said the enjoyment he had doesn't necessarily mean he's leaning one way or the other.
"When I do make a decision, it's not something I make overnight," Shanahan said. 'It's something that takes time. My mind isn't there at all. It was really on preparing for what I thought our team was going to have a long playoff.. It goes to show the nature of the playoffs and just how difficult it is to win."
Shanahan said he's never been one that's said that he'd stop playing when he stopped having fun.
"I've never really thought of it that way," he said. "I think there are a lot of factors that go beyond just your family. You have a family. You have children. You get to a certain point in your life where on-ice things are weighing in on the decision and off-ice things are weighing in on the decision as well."
Holik, 38, didn't sound like he had nearly as much fun in his return to the Devils. He was a healthy scratch for the last two games of the regular season and then four of the seven playoff games against Carolina.
He ended the season with a back injury, but probably would not have played in Game 7 on Tuesday if he were healthy.
He said he hurt his back doing "silly conditioning" skating on Sunday after the morning skate.
'I hurt it badly," he said.
"It's better now, but at the time it was spasming." he said.
Holik said that was not the reason why he didn't play in Game 6.
"There were a lot of reasons," he said. "Maybe the following game after they lost 4-0 (in Game 6). I'm still not ready to skate."
Holik was vague as far as his plans for his hockey future.
"As far as hockey goes, it's feel better, get my back in line and take some time off," he said. "Regardless of me not playing, it was still for me an emotionally tough time, so I need to get away and go from there."
When I asked if he wants to play next season, Holik replied, "I can't look that far ahead right now. I've got to feel better. The way things happened and after how bad I hurt my back by doing silly conditioning for an old guy like me at the end of April, right now I need to just clear my head and we'll go from there."
Hoilik said the conditining skating was not his decision.
"There weren't many my decisions," he said.
Holik said he was not ruling out playing another season, though.
"I'm not ruling out anything right now," he said. "Let's face it, the way my season ended a few weeks ago, it's not something you want to finish on. But, at the same time, whatever. I just don't feel right now to make any decisions. Once I feel better, I think I'm going to be a lot closer to the decision. I really enjoy playing. When I say playing, I enjoy being on the ice to play and I enjoy practicing. All of the other stuff, I could leave it. But it comes with it, like dealing with (the media), meetings. I like playing. I really enjoy it. I like competing.
"There's a lot of stuff that comes with it, but I definitely enjoy playing hockey."
Holik had a set of President Obama playing cards that he was trying to give away. They were given to him by Mike Rupp.