Teemu Selanne

Teemu Selanne announces he’s coming back to Anaheim; signs one-year, $4 million deal

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The “Finnish Flash” will ride again one more time.

Teemu Selanne announced on the Anaheim Ducks’ website that he was returning to the team to play one more season:

“Hi guys. You guys knew I can’t stop playing yet. So I’m back at least one more season. My middle name is ‘One More.’ And we start the season in Helsinki so I’ll see you there.”

Teemu “One Year” Selanne… That’s got a good ring to it.

Helene Elliott of The L.A. Times reports that Selanne signed a one-year deal with Anaheim for $4 million. Selanne returns to play for a Ducks team that can more than use his offense to balance out the team. While the Ducks’ top line of Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf is one of the best in the league. Selanne on the second line with fellow Finn Saku Koivu and Jason Blake gives Anaheim a second line worth worrying about.

While Blake and Koivu aren’t as good as they used to be, Selanne last season had a year for the ages scoring 31 goals and adding 49 assists. Getting 80 points from a 40 year-old is unbelievable but it was Selanne’s health that made it all possible as he played in 73 games last season. After three straight seasons of missing at least 25 games per year, being healthy showed that he can still bring it. After having knee surgery this offseason, we’ll see if Selanne’s health can hold up over what could ultimately be his final one in the NHL.

As if you needed more of a reason to be excited over the return of the NHL’s leading active goal scorer (637 goals) put a big circle around December 17th. That night the Ducks visit Winnipeg to take on the Jets. It’ll be Selanne’s first and last appearance in his original NHL hometown this season and a night that should be an emotional return for Selanne. It was in Winnipeg that Selanne broke the all-time rookie goal scoring record netting 76 goals in his first year back in 1992-1993.

Here’s to hoping Selanne can go out riding high and perhaps give us another reason to ask him to live up to his “middle name” next summer.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.