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.
Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Minnesota Wild.
Last season was a great one as far as Wild fans should be concerned. The team returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence. Their offseason acquisitions (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) had big seasons as Parise led the team in scoring and Suter was a Norris Trophy-caliber player.
As far as Wild management is concerned, last season was the first step towards eventually bringing a Stanley Cup to Minnesota. They’ve got a host of young players with sky-high potential and a taste for what the postseason is like. Can they make another step forward this season or was last year a fortunate turn of events because of a shortened schedule?
For a team that made the postseason, the Wild had a bit of an overhaul this summer. Out went Devin Setoguchi (traded to Winnipeg) and Cal Clutterbuck was sent to the Islanders for young hopeful Nino Niederreiter.
In free agency, forwards Matt Cullen (Nashville) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Islanders) headed elsewhere while Matt Cooke, Keith Ballard, and Jonathon Blum jumped on board. The Cooke signing created some anxiety with Wild fans and columnists as they parted ways with the popular Clutterbuck to bring a guy with a bad reputation on board.
Free agency isn’t where the sparks for this team will come from as they’ve got young guys like Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and rookie phenom Jonas Brodin to help carry them forward. At least, that’s what coach Mike Yeo hopes for.
Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Gary Roberts was a fierce player in the NHL and now that he’s done on the ice, he’s even tougher off of it with his BioSteel fitness camp. That got underway in Ontario this week with 50-plus players there. Maybe this year there won’t be stories about Nazem Kadri being out of shape! (Toronto Star)
Erik Karlsson is back in Ottawa and feeling chatty. (Senators)
Give it up for the smaller countries making progress in getting better at hockey. (Flames)
Remember Alexei Morozov? Martin Brodeur sure should, but he’s talking about his time playing in the NHL and Ilya Kovalchuk, too. (The Score)
The Sharks’ slow-reveal of their new jerseys continues even though it’s not going to be anything drastic. (Sharks Instagram)
Kari Lehtonen talks about how he has to get new pants because of the Stars’ uniform overhaul. Goalies, I tell ya. (Dallas Morning News)
Finally, for you video game fans out there EA Sports released the demo for NHL 14 today. Who needs sunshine and summer fun when there’s games to be played? (EA Sports)
Vancouver is going to need David Booth to be a healthy contributor to the team this season. Unfortunately the part about getting healthy is proving to be difficult as he attempts to return from ankle surgery in March.
Jason Botchford of The Province reports Booth still isn’t cleared for activity and he’s also dealing with other nagging setbacks.
Continuing his recovery from March ankle surgery, Booth has had other issues, including a calf strain, as he tried to stay on track in a rehab program designed to have him healthy for September.
That could happen. But the Canucks remain unsure if Booth will be healthy when training camp begins in three weeks.
When the Canucks acquired Booth from the Florida Panthers two seasons ago, they hoped he’d slot in alongside Ryan Kesler and have instant American chemistry. Instead, the two have dealt with a myriad of ailments that derailed that plan.
As Botchford said, the team may have used a compliance buyout on Booth this summer if he were healthy. Now it’s up to Alex Burrows and youngster Nicklas Jensen to show they can carry the load while Booth gets it together.
We’re sure John Tortorella will enjoy the dearth of able wingers.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist could become one of the hottest free agent targets next summer if the Rangers don’t sign him. Luckily for them, he’s not even thinking about that right now.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post spoke with former Vezina Trophy winner and finds out he’s happy where he is and is looking forward to a new season with a new coach.
“If we can find a solution, it’s no secret that this is where I want to be; I’m not thinking about free agency at all,” said Lundqvist “The way the organization has treated me, the way that our team has played over the last few years, the way I feel about New York City, this is definitely the place I want to be.
“But we do have a few things we have to talk about.”
That last quote certainly comes off a bit ominous and Lundqvist goes on to tell Brooks he’d like to have a new deal done before the start of the season but it’s not necessary.
That’s probably a relief for GM Glen Sather to hear as he still has to get a deal done with restricted free agent Derek Stepan and he hasn’t even started talks with any of his impending free agents.
There’s no doubt Lundqvist can command top dollar from anyone he wants, especially the Rangers. With the cap set to go up again next season, that will only serve to line his pockets a bit more and ensure he can be a Ranger for life or go to the highest bidder for a long time.
At 31-years-old, a max deal with the Rangers would take him to age 39. Works out perfectly, wouldn’t you say?
Related: Lundqvist can’t fathom leaving the Rangers
‘Shouldn’t be too difficult’ to sign Lundqvist, says Rangers assistant GM