It's somewhat of a somber day at Honda Center, as the players are long gone after yesterday's "last day of school," there are no games or practices on the horizon and the ice is being melted as we speak.
Players came and went throughout the day yesterday, having their meetings, signing various objects for charity (as somewhat captured in this video) talking with the media, and saying their goodbyes (hopefully for just the summer).
Here are a few items of note from the media sessions:
• Teemu Selanne
didn't elaborate too much further from what he's already said about whether or not he'll come back for a 20th season. But he did say, "Obviously, there's a lot of question marks there. It comes automatically, the feeling, 'Is this over right now?' Mixed feelings. You still want to be in the playoffs and not finish the season there."
And he mirrored the sentiment of us all when he said, "It's going to be tough to watch the playoffs this year."
• Speaking of players considering retirement, Lubomir Visnovsky
admitted he thought about it after enduring what he thought might be, "[the] worst season ever for me" after strugging with injuries all year. "I was very mad during the season because I [didn't] feel comfortable," he said. "My confidence was very low…[But] I want to play. I want to be here with my teammates."
• Two other Ducks played with injuries this year and will have that taken care of this offseason. Toni Lydman
will have work done on his knee and Francois Beauchemin
is scheduled to get a torn labrum repaired Thursday in LA.
• Saku Koivu
addressed the fact that his contract is up this summer, and reiterated that he'd like to come back to the Ducks. "We've enjoyed it a lot," Koivu said of playing in Anaheim. "Everything that we looked for has happened except the success in the playoffs. When you're family's happy, you feel comfortable. I don't see a reason why I should go and look for something else.
“I want to be a part of something good. I want to be part of these guys [and] to make the playoffs and make a push there. I’m confident and I’m hoping that things will work out there in the next little while and we can hopefully be back for next year.”
Of impending contract talks, he said, "It’s too early to say right now. We’ll see. I’m confident we’ll get things done.”
• Bruce Boudreau spoke to reporters well after the meetings were over and remained his jovial self while remaining solemn over a season that ended without a postseason appearance, a rarity for him.
"It’s a very difficult time," he said, sporting a two-day-old beard growth on his face. "I’ve been lucky enough starting in juniors to be on seven championship teams. When you’ve tasted that, you want it every day. You get spoiled and then find out how difficult it is when that’s taken away. I don’t want that taken away. I want to live in that high-rent area again."
And he looked forward to his first training camp with this team. "They will be reminded about it every day in camp. We’ll have t-shirts or something. We’ll have reasons to remember it, whether it’s video or some other reminder that this isn’t going to happen again."
Boudreau will be on ESPN's SportsCenter on Wednesday night doing playoff analysis, as well as CBC's Hockey Night in Canada this weekend. Meanwhile, his other offseason plans are to just find something, anything, to do. "I know my wife will kick me out of the house anyhow, because I start to lose it. I’m pretty well born to be a hockey guy, and that’s what makes me work. Her to-do list is for me to get out of the house. Otherwise I just follow her around and it drives her nuts. If I’m at home for more than a day, I’m like a whipped puppy just following her around and going, “What are you doing, what are you doing?” She hates that. She’ll sit there and say, “Is there not a game of golf you can play somewhere?” She’s the only wife I know that wants you to go out and play golf. I’m lucky that way."
And more on next season: "When they come to camp, we want them to be prepared to go from the first day ... We’re going to be in shape, but it means that systematically and team-wise, we will be structured to know exactly what we’re going to do from the drop of the puck in game 1. You just look at the starts of the teams that I’ve been on. It’s a formula that works and it’s one that’s going to work again. If we have a good start, then we won’t be sitting talking like this at this time next year"
The Ducks will get a better idea of just how much a rookie could potentially impact them next season when the NHL Draft Lottery is held tonight at 5 p.m. Pacific. The Ducks have a 6.2% chance to win the lottery, which would move them up a maximum of four spots into the second slot.
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For a reminder or more cheerful times, the NHLPA just release this video that Bobby Ryan
shot during the Skills Showdown back in February. Good stuff.