Teemu Selanne spent 10 minutes with the media Tuesday afternoon during the team’s exit interviews to reflect on this past season and discuss his future.
On whether he’s made a decision yet,
I’m waiting. This is not the time to think about it. I need more time.
On this past season,
I’m obviously very disappointed about how things finished here. It’s going to be hard to watch the next round. It will hit even more.
I was hoping to get that feeling, and I think everybody else feels the same way … we didn’t leave everything out there. That’s a disappointing feeling. This team was ready to go further. I knew with our depth, the longer we would go would be to our advantage. Not so many teams have that. With one good line or two good lines, you can go pretty far. But we felt we had more than that. When you get tired as you go longer, and there are more injuries, that’s where the edge comes from. Now we’re not able to use that.
On the team’s capabilities,
We have such a good team here right now. We know we’re better than this. I think everyone felt there is some unfinished business here. It would be easier if we didn’t feel that way. I think this team is ready to win right now.
On his energy level this season,
The first half, I thought I had the energy. The second half was a bit more disappointing. The schedule was tougher also. I felt, especially when [Nick] Bonino got hurt, I felt like I didn’t find that chemistry I was looking for. Obviously that affected me. I started coming down a little bit, and the job was harder.
I felt that even though it was a shorter season, the workload was way harder than normal. In a normal season, you can pace yourself a little better and you don’t have to play seven nights in 10 days all the time. Every game was like a playoff game because you played against your own conference and division teams. It’s a totally different level than a normal season. I felt it was way harder than normal. Whatever happens, I know it’s going to be easier. It sounds weird, but that’s how I feel.
When I felt normal, it was so much fun and I know I can play well again.
On his enjoyment level,
I still found a way to enjoy it. That’s what it’s all about. The way we played as a team, that’s where the satisfaction comes from. I’m very proud of what the young guys managed to do this year. They took a huge step forward, and I’m very excited about that. That’s a good sign.
On his expectations this season,
The expectations for myself are always so high, and I didn’t think I reached those. That sometimes happens. Definitely there was room for improvement.
On whether he had doubts about himself physically,
No. No doubts. On the same hand, I was very happy with how healthy I was this year. There is always the risk with this schedule, but I had no issues at all. That’s the biggest thing.
On if he felt during the season he had lost his skills,
No. Not at all. Only energy-wise. Even a 20-year-old feels that way sometimes. Hockey-wise, no. No.
On plans to go back to Finland this summer,
We’ll probably go back there in mid-June for a couple of months. It will be the end of June sometime when I want to make a decision. The usual schedule. I think the speculation has started already though. People think they know, and it’s funny. When I go there, they just ask all the time, and I say, “I’ll tell you guys when I know.” They’re impatient.
On what will go into his decision,
It’s a commitment with training and dedication in the summertime. That’s when you have to be ready. Like I said before the good thing is, I don’t have to play. I only play because I want to play. That’s the motivation that players dream of. That’s why I take some time off. I want to start feeling either way. Do I really want to start pushing myself again? If I don’t have it, then I don’t play. That’s the best way to do it. After like six weeks, I’ll start thinking about whether I want to start working out. Your body and your mind start missing it, and then you know what’s the right decision. If you don’t get that, then it’s time to start doing something else.
On who might influence his decision,
You always listen to your family, your team and yourself. The family is the easiest one. They support the decision whatever it is, so that makes it very easy.
On the allure of playing in the Olympics next year,
I haven’t really thought about that much easier. I know it’s there. And there is the outdoor game. There are a lot of good things which will bring more experiences and will make next year even more special. But again, it’s all about … you’ve got to be there, mentally and physically. When you have the attitude like I have, every day you want to take advantage of it. And if you don’t get it back, it’s the last one. That’s the motivation that works for me. The dedication at this age, it’s got to be 100 percent there.
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