In a video by our friends at TSN, Teemu Selanne was asked if the lockout ended up cancelling the season, would it end his career in the NHL. His answer, "Probably".
Oooh boy. Shit is about to get real.
As everyone has said, Teemu Selanne is the heart and soul of the Anaheim Ducks franchise. For this lockout to take away the winger's last year, I am speechless. No chance to really say 'good bye'. No 'Teemu Tour' around the league to be celebrated by fans (maybe even in LA and Detroit). Even if the season does start, it's going to be a shorter than deserved last lap.
Here's what really pisses me off. If Elliotte Friedman's thought of Henry Samueli being one the owners holding up the lockout negotiations is true, Samueli will go from 'Savior of the Ducks' to, well, Disney.
The Samuelis have been fantastic owners, so far. Even when he was under investigation by the SEC and suspended by the NHL, I still held both Henry and Susan in high regard. They don't treat their team as merely a status symbol in a county full of millionaires. They want to build hockey in Southern California.
With hockey operations, Henry and Susan remain relatively hands off (in some situations, we wish they were hands on...) to focus on the charitable efforts of the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. From their actions, they just seem like good, caring people. Hell, I even washed my hands next to Susan in the restroom at Honda Center for non-billionaires.
Ending the career most beloved Anaheim Duck of all time on a pissing match that is supposed to be a negotiation, is unthinkable. Whatever fans we have left at the moment are going to take this as an insult. Here is your 42 year old super star, continuing to come back each season because he loves to play, having to end his career because of greed and egos. Mutiny? Possibly. Backlash? Absolutely.
Samueli wants more money in revenue sharing and he's going to get it. Not strictly because the Ducks are in a non-traditional market but because no one will show up (save that night's opponent's fans). Goodwill will be gone because his actions took away one of the best reasons to watch the Ducks.
This is a direct message from Selanne to Bettman and Samueli - you will cause my retirement. If Samueli has anything to do with hardline stance held by the owners, he'd better tell Bettman where to shove his two-week moratorium and get back to the table. Get an f-ing mediator. Stop acting like 14 year old Twi-Hards and get a deal done.
(And yeah, we've heard this retirement talk from Teemu before. The thing is, he would have been ending his career on his terms, not a forced hand.)
Buddy Band to my favorite ginger, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy, for the heads up.