We're continuing our offseason contributor tryouts with Jason. He's submitted a few articles, but this is his first one we've published. It's his five reasons on why Selanne will return. He doesn't mention Kariya, but Selanne did, so we'll just call that an omission.
Let him know what you think in the comments.
Recently, I read an article in USA Today by Kevin Allen on why Detroit’s ageless wonder, Nicklas Lidstrom, will return for the 2011-2012 season at the age of 40. Since the Ducks are facing a similar dilemma with our ever so youthful Finnish Flash, I created my own list on why Teemu Selanne will return next season.
Fellow Finnish players Saku Koivu and Toni Lydman will be back for next season. Although this may be the smallest reason on why he will return, it does make sense that having a friendship with fellow countryman will weigh in on his decision. Not only that, but Teemu has also created a bond with the younger Ducks by being a great leader and mentor.
4. Relationship with the Front Office.
Similar to Lidstrom’s situation, Teemu Selanne has a good relationship with Ducks GM Bob Murray. Last summer, Murray kept in constant contact with Selanne during the summer, keeping him up-to-date on what the Ducks were doing during the free agency period. They have a mutual respect for each other as well. When it came to discussing salary, Selanne told Bob what he thought he deserved, and Bob told him what the Ducks could afford. There was no hard balling from the front office, because they respect Selanne and realize that he is the face of the franchise.
3. Orange County.
If Selanne does decide to play, I don’t see him playing for any other team, because he has created a life in Southern California. He and his wife have made a life here with their kids. Making a change at this point of his life would not be ideal. Plus, being a golfaholic, Selanne would probably not want to move away from a place that allows him to play golf almost every day of the year, including the private course he built for himself.
2. Another Cup.
At 40 years old, Selanne has just finished one of his best statistical seasons in his career, finishing with 31 goals (21st), 49 assists (10th), and 80 points (8th). He also led the Ducks in goals (6) during the playoff series against Nashville. Selanne shows he still has that quickness and ability to find the back of the net that resulted in the creation of his nickname, the Finnish Flash. Everyone also saw the pain in Selanne’s face in the loss to the Predators. He definitely wants another shot at the Cup, and with the season he had, it's hard to see why he should retire now.
1. Just-Plain Fun.
Every time he stepped onto the ice, you could just tell that Selanne was having fun. Against Dallas, when he tied the game up in the final seconds of the third period, Selanne’s jumping celebration showed his inner kid and how much fun playing hockey is for him. I don’t think Selanne is ready to retire yet with the amount of fun he is having playing hockey right now.