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.