Selanne Returns to Ducks for One Final Season
The Franchise Leading Scorer Enters His 22nd And Final Campaign After Signing One Year Contract
“It’s great to have Teemu back. He clearly still has passion for the game and can’t wait to get started,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “We are so pleased that Teemu will end his career where he belongs.”
Selanne, 43 (7/3/70), enters his 15th season with Anaheim (1996-01; 2005-present) having amassed 448-513=961 points in 902 games in a Ducks uniform. He appeared in his 900th career contest as a Duck on Apr. 21, 2013 at Edmonton as part of a 46-appearance, 24-point (12-12=24) season in 2012-13. The 6-0, 200-pound winger completed the season ranking 11th in all-time NHL goals (675), tied for 40th in all-time assists (755), 15th in all-time points (1,430), third in all-time power-play goals (251) and sixth in career game-winning goals (107). Selanne became the all-time Finnish leader in NHL appearances (1,373) on Mar. 25, 2013 vs. San Jose, surpassing fellow countryman Teppo Numminen (1,372). He scored the first of two, four-point efforts in 2012-13 on Jan. 19, 2013 at Vancouver (2-2=4, season opener), becoming just the third player in NHL history age 42-or-older to score four points in a game (also Gordie Howe and Tim Horton). It also marked the first time in nearly 42 years that the feat was accomplished (Horton scored 0-4=4 for Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia on Jan. 15, 1972). Selanne also added four points (1-3=4) on Feb. 9, 2013 at St. Louis.
The Ducks announced the decision with this video:
“I’m so happy to be back,” said Selanne. “I’ve always wanted to finish my career in Anaheim, and I plan on making it count.”
Selanne has appeared in 1,387 career NHL games, collecting 675-755=1430 points with a +87 rating and 648 PIM. Originally acquired from Winnipeg on Feb. 7, 1996, and after stints with San Jose (2001-03) and Colorado (2003-04), Selanne signed a one-year contract with Anaheim on Aug. 22, 2005 and has remained with the club ever since. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring, goals, assists, plus/minus, power play goals (178) and game-winning goals (74). Selanne won his first Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 in his 15th NHL season. In 118 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Selanne has collected 42-40=82 points with 58 PIM. He currently leads the Ducks in career playoff goals (33), points (63), power play goals (14), game winning goals (8) and appearances (84).
A native of Helsinki, Finland, Selanne has represented his country at five Olympic Winter Games (1992, 1998, 2002, 2006 & 2010), winning the silver medal at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. He is the Olympic men’s hockey all-time leading scorer, having scored 20-17=37 points in 31 career games. Selanne also medaled with Team Finland at the 2002 and 2010 games (bronze). In 1999, Selanne won the inaugural Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer (47). In addition, he was the recipient of the 1993 Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s rookie of the year, scoring 76-56=132 points as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. His 76 goals in 1992-93 remains the all-time rookie record for goals in a season. Selanne was also the Bill Masterton Trophy winner in 2006, exemplifying persistence and dedication to the sport of hockey.
Selanne spoke to the media via conference call Friday afternoon:
On if it was a tough decision to return for one more year
There have been other years where it has been tough, but it has been because of injuries.
When I went back to Finland, I decided to do my normal routine in the summer, and get ready for the new season because otherwise I would not have had any other option. It wasn't that easy, but I wanted to make sure we were on the same page when it comes to the coach and GM.
I knew I wanted to play one more, but because I didn't have to make a decision earlier, I wanted to make sure it was going to be the right one.
On his talks with Bruce Boudreau
I had a good meeting with Bruce and I'm very happy with how it turned out. He was very open. I wanted to know how I would fit in his roster, and he said he was expecting a lot from me. Those were good things, and that was the final thing I wanted to hear.
I'm very happy about that and very excited.
On if this will really be his final season
This will be my final season. It's easy to say and now I can enjoy every day.
We have a good team here, and that’s also a main reason why I still want to come back. I think we have all the tools to go all the way. It's a big challenge and I want to be part of that.
On if he needed any promises from head coach Bruce Boudreau
I never wanted to get any promises because I know the coach can’t really do that. Obviously, we have a great group of guys. Getting those guys in, I didn't want a situation where we pushed them in no matter what happened. It's a competitive situation and everyone has to earn their ice time and power play. I know I can do it. I just needed to be on the same page with the coach. That's what happened. I’m very happy about that.
On representing Finland in the 2014 Olympics
That's also a big bonus for the next season. This could be my sixth Olympics, which I'm very proud of. We have a Finnish coach who will pick the team, but that's my goal for sure.
On having unfinished business
If we had gone to the finals or close, you just leave everything out there, and it would have been a different case. I really felt, like everybody else in our locker room, that there is unfinished business and we have a better team than this. We have so many good things going on right now, and we know we can do better and that’s a main reason why I’m here. I’m still very hungry to win again. We have a good team and a lot of good things going here. If we had a bad team and bad season, it would be an easy situation to just say ‘thanks for everything,’ and go on. But, I felt we can do better and I can do better, and everybody can do better. There’s unfinished business for sure.
On calling it his ‘farewell tour’
I wouldn’t call it like that, but I think it's good for people to know it will be the last one. I haven't said that officially before, and it will be easier for me to take advantage of every day and enjoy. I think it's good for everybody, my family too. They've asked questions over the years, and now it's a very clear situation.
On staying fresh for the upcoming season
Yeah, we talked about that. The schedule is going to be pretty tough with the Olympics and everything. Last year, it was something new to me, and I didn’t really want to sit out for the game. But I realized after that, it’s going to be really good for me. Down the road, I think we can both sit down and see when the schedule is really hectic, I can take some nights off.
Last year, it was almost impossible to get the recovery I needed. I expect this is going to be hard as well, but not as hard as last year. It’s going to be better for me. There are going to be nights when I'm going to say or he's going to say, “It would be best for us.” We've got to be smart.
On whether the video was his idea
Pretty much. They wanted to do a video like that, and I‘ve seen something similar, so I said, “Let’s do it like this.” Hopefully people liked it.
On whether he's as bad at golf as he was in the video
I'm a good actor [laughs]. There are some bad days, too.
On throwing the club in the water
That was my first time. It felt pretty good.
On his impressions of the changes the team made during the offseason
It was sad to see Bobby Ryan go. He has been a big part of our team for years. On the same hand, it’s going to be a great opportunity for him. He’s going to step up and be the number one guy. It’s good for him. Getting those young guys, Silfverberg, and our young guys coming up, there is going to be a lot of depth on this team, and that was the will be key last year. We know it’s going to be the key for this year, too. We can throw a lot of different combinations out there. That's going to make our team strong. I'm very excited about the new guys and the young guys. There is a lot of work ahead, but it's good work.
On if he ever seriously thought about retiring
There is no handbook about how you’re going to feel when you retire. I’ve never gotten the feeling that I’m done and this is enough. I’m just waiting for my body and my mind to say, “I’m done.” I’ve been able to enjoy this game so much that even on the tough nights and days, I still enjoy it. It’s going to end somewhere, and I decided now for my family and everybody that it’s going to be my last season. That’s fair for everybody. But, I haven’t yet had a moment where I felt, “This is it.”
On getting Dustin Penner back
He’s a big boy and I know he can help us a lot. He’s very familiar with Getzlaf and Perry, and I think he’s going to start on the first line right away. It’s worked before. He’s very excited about this opportunity. We won a Stanley Cup together, and hopefully we’ll have another chance at that together. I’m very excited.
On looking back at the Game 7 loss against Detroit
It was very disappointing. I’ve always said, as a team, sometimes you have to go through some difficulties and difficult times. Hopefully we can learn from that, and remember that feeling when it ended, that this was not fair for us. Detroit deserved to go to the second round, but we didn’t play as good as we can. That’s what bothers me. If we play our best game and still lose, you can live with that, but not like that. Thinking of that feeling, I think that’s going to be our strength for this coming year.
On his expectations of himself for this season
I have high expectations about myself. I haven’t had any numbers, but I know how well I can play. I don’t think anybody can have more expectations for myself than myself. I want to be a big part of it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even considered to keep playing. Hopefully the biggest thing for me is staying healthy. That will give me the chance to succeed.