The Ducks have been patiently waiting to see whether or not NHL legend Teemu Selanne will be returning to the Ducks this season or if he’ll be retiring from the sport. While we’ve heard from Selanne plenty this offseason about how we’ll know if he’ll be back by training camp and how his knee is the one hold up in bringing him back, hearing the opinion of someone on the Ducks staff helps too because they’re stuck waiting on Teemu as well.
Ducks GM Bob Murray did get a chance to talk about Selanne taking his time in figuring out if he can give it a go or not and sympathizes with the Finnish star and understands that if Selanne can’t give it a go because of his knee that that won’t help the Ducks out regardless. Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times gets the straight talk from Murray.
Murray said Selanne’s eagerness to play is “definitely a positive,” but the knee must improve before he makes a decision. In the meantime, Selanne is skating and doing off-ice conditioning work.
“I’m optimistic, but certainly understand him not wanting commit unless the knee is straightened out,” Murray said. “I’m going to talk to him again later this week and see how he is progressing.”
Teemu’s ailing knee is truly the roadblock here for him to come back for one more season. Selanne had the knee operated on this summer to help it out, but it’s still nagging him and making him think he can’t handle the rigors of a full season plus, potentially, the playoffs as well.
For Selanne, he’s the leading active goal scorer in the NHL with 637 goals and is destined for a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame being perhaps the greatest player to come out of Finland and one of the best goal scorers in this generation of the NHL. We’d obviously love to see him give it one more go around the league, especially with the Ducks paying a visit to Winnipeg on December 17 to take on the Jets. Seeing Selanne get to play one more game in the city that he broke into the NHL with would be a great night for him in what might be his final season.
It’s all up to Selanne from here on out though. If he thinks his knee can take it, he’ll be back. If not… It’s been one hell of a run for the “Finnish Flash” in the NHL.
Brent Burns, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, but the debate about who should win is likely to persist right through to June 22 and the annual NHL Awards.
Not only did Karlsson, last year’s Norris winner, lead all blue liners is points with 82, he led the league in assists with 66 and finished tied with Joe Thornton for fourth in the entire NHL in total points. Those lofty offensive totals could make the Ottawa Senators star the clear favorite to claim the award for a third time in his career.
Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96.
Burns — is there an award for most outrageous beard? — is also coming off an impressive regular season, finishing just shy of the 30-goal mark with 27 and 75 points in 82 games for the Sharks. He’s also had a strong showing in the post-season, as well, with eight points in the opening round versus L.A.
Doughty’s offensive numbers don’t match up with the production from Karlsson or Burns, with 51 points in 82 games for the Kings. There were eight defensemen ahead of him in overall point production. But he’s often recognized for logging hefty amounts of ice time, averaging 28:01 in the regular season, on a Kings team that often dominates puck possession at even strength.
“If you’re going to win, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to have to play the other side of the puck,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently said to the Associated Press.
“You’re going to have to make those little plays that aren’t going to show up on the highlights. (Doughty’s) defensive partners — the little things he’ll do just to get his partner time to make a play. He’s three steps ahead of everything, and because he is that, he makes it look easy.”
They were the top teams in the Western Conference during the regular season, with 109 and 107 points, respectively. And now, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues clash with a second-round series in the playoffs. You can catch Game 1 between these Central Division foes on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Stars expect Seguin to miss at least first two games of Blues series
Here are PHT’s second-round playoff predictions
Nine days after getting prized prospect goalie Thatcher Demko under contract, the Vancouver Canucks have inked another college puck stopper.
The Canucks have signed college free agent goalie Michael Garteig to a one-year entry-level contract, the team announced Friday. Garteig recently completed his senior year with Quinnipiac University, which won the ECAC championship but lost the NCAA championship game to North Dakota earlier this month.
Garteig, 24, posted a 32-4-7 record with a .924 save percentage and a career best eight shutouts this season. He was also once again nominated for the 2016 Mike Richter Award.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed forward Johan Larsson to a one-year contract.
Larsson was eligible to become a restricted free agent once his contract expired this summer. The Swedish-born player is coming off a season in which he set career bests with 10 goals, 17 points and 74 games. He also finished tied with rookie center Jack Eichel in scoring five game-winning goals.
Overall, he has 16 goals and 21 assists in 142 games for the Sabres.
Buffalo acquired Larsson in a trade that sent former Sabres captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota in April 2013. The Wild selected Larsson in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Contractual details, per the Buffalo News: