Teemu Selanne’s decision to play one more season or retire will be known very soon according to the man himself.
The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer tells Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register (subscription required), “By next week, I know what I’m going to do.”
The catch for him returning? He’s going to want top minutes and a chance to show their crew of young wingers he’s still got it. From Stephens:
“My point is, if they’re better than I am, I am expecting and accepting a smaller role,” Selanne said. “But if I’m better, I need to play more. I need to play top minutes. That’s what I’m looking for.
“That’s fair for everybody. To be honest, I’ve been playing a big role. I don’t know if I’m ready to play 10-12 minutes a game. And that’s what I want to make sure. If I play well, I get what I deserve.
“Sometimes it’s not like that. So I want to make sure I’m treated the way I deserve.”
Ducks GM Bob Murray has essentially told Selanne if he wants to play, he’s ready to sign him. The issue here, however, is coach Bruce Boudreau has a host of young wingers ready to play more minutes.
Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, and newcomer Jakob Silfverberg are all potential top-six forwards. If it comes down to a training camp battle to see who’s got it, there’s a good possibility Selanne could wind up out in the cold for more ice time.
Selanne has held strong saying he’s either playing for Anaheim or he’ll retire, but you have to wonder if it comes down to a coach’s choice that he won’t give him that ice time if he’ll change his mind. Surely there are teams that would be interested even if he’s a step slower.