According to Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, Teemu Selanne was going to be Anaheim’s lone NHL All-Star until he “pulled the plug on himself” and convinced the league to pick teammate Corey Perry instead.
“I’ve been there many times,” Selanne said. “Honestly, I think it’s a great opportunity for young players and Perry was MVP last year.
“He’s the man. The MVP should go. It’s better that he be there.”
Perry might be the reigning MVP but, statistically speaking, Selanne’s the man. He leads the Ducks in assists, points, power-play assists, road goals, shootout goals and has a plus-4 rating to Perry’s minus-11.
So why didn’t the Finnish Flash want to go to his 11th All-Star Game?
Well…it appears there’s a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge at play. The flight from Anaheim to Ottawa is a long one, especially for a 41-year-old with a recent history of groin injuries that would probably enjoy some rest. But since players can’t ask out of the All-Star weekend and certainly can’t bail on it (see: Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom), there has to be some creativity in excusing oneself from the festivities. Like saying how important it is for the reigning Hart Trophy to be on hand, for example.
To further illustrate this point, consider the response Selanne gave to a reporter that asked if Perry now owed him a steak dinner.
“No, I owe him a dinner,” answered Selanne.