By this time next week, we’ll likely know Teemu Selanne’s future.
The 43-year-old Finn is set to meet with Anaheim GM Bob Murray and head coach Bruce Boudreau at some point over the next seven days to decide if he’ll return to the Ducks next season, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I’ve met and talked with Teemu a couple of times in the last week or so. We have had good, positive discussions,” Murray told the Times.
“He told us he would like to meet again next week, and was hoping to make a decision at that time. We want him to take his time and make a decision he’s comfortable with. It’s Teemu’s decision to make.”
Selanne has spent much of the offseason in Finland, mulling over his future, but recently returned to Anaheim to meet with Murray and discuss his role.
It’s possible that conversation was tricky.
While it’s likely the organization would love to have Selanne back, his production and level of play declined as last season progressed. Boudreau cut Selanne’s ice time in April and May — he was a 14-minute guy in the playoffs — and it’s unclear if the Finnish Flash would want a similar scenario to unfold this season, especially since he’s in the mix to represent Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The club’s overall use of Selanne, and its ability to rest him prior to the Olympics, will also likely be discussed.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.