For Brendan Shanahan, that's the way it's looking right now, though nothing is done, yet.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning that he expects something to happen either way with 40-year-old left wing by the end of next week. (Perhaps another Friday announcement?)
"I'd say by the end of next week there will be something," Lamoriello said.
It is clear that the Devils want him back. It's also clear that Shanahan, 40, wants to return. At this point, it just seems to be a matter of time before the next step is taken, though Shanahan does have interest from other teams.
Are the Devils waiting on Shanahan to make up his mind or is the team holding up the process?
"I thiink it's really a combination of everything with reference to where Brendan is in his career," Lamoriello said. "He knows his abiltiies. He knows where he wants to be. It's just making sure that everything is in order. He has some opportunities and I just want him to make sure that this is where he wants to be with the role he plays and all of that so that you never look back.
"It's been straightforward from both sides and honest. There's no gray area. Brendan and I go back too far to have anything other than complete understanding of what the situation is.
"Do we want him back? We would not be talking to him if that weren't the case. Does he want to come back? He wouldn't be talking (to the Devils), but it's just making sure that everybody knows the role."
Lamoriello is rarely this open in discussing signing a player and, though it's never safe to make assumptions, that openess and other signs (which I can't discuss at this time) point right now toward Shanahan being back with the Devils in 2009-10. Until it's done, however, nothing is certain.
I spoke to Shanahan's agent, Rick Curran, Thursday evening and he said there was still "no news," and would not discuss whether there was a timetable for Shanahan to sign somewhere with the Sept. 12 start of training camp for veterans rapidly approaching.
The final answer to the Brian Rolston question won't be known until after training camp, but right now the Devils' plans are for Rolston to play wing in 2009-10 and not center, which he played for most of last season. Rolston flourished as a left wing in his three seasons with head coach Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota and he admits that is the position in which he is most comfortable.
"We'll see how training camp goes, but most probably he'll be at wing," Lamoriello admitted.
If that's the case, then the Devils almost certainly will have to add another center. Lamoriello would not answer when I asked him if he planned to do so.
I've maintained throughout the summer that the Devils will trade for a center to play with Rolston.