“I’ll take a couple of weeks to decide [on my future]. Get away for a little bit and then take it from there.”
That was Saku Koivu today, per the Ducks’ Twitter feed, talking about his playing career, and whether he hopes to continue it next season.
Koivu is a pending unrestricted free agent. The 39-year-old forward had 11 goals and 18 assists in 65 regular-season games, but only one assist in 13 playoff games.
In Anaheim’s Game 7 loss to Los Angeles, Koivu logged just 6:37 of playing time.
“I thought Game 4 and Game 5, he was as good as we had at center,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “His ice time went down when we needed a goal.”
Boudreau added: “He’d win faceoffs, he would compete, he would do a great job. I don’t know what the plans are for him, what his mindset is or what [general manager Bob Murray’s] mindset towards him is. It’s just one of those things you wait out and see.”
Related: Teemu Selanne: ‘It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years’
Bob Murray has been the Anaheim Ducks’ general manager since 2008 and with the team swinging upwards, there’s no plan to change course now. Consequently, the Ducks announced that they have signed Murray to a four-year contract extension that will take him through 2020.
Murray worked under former Ducks GM Brian Burke when the team won the Stanley Cup in 2007. The Ducks haven’t gotten past the second round since then, but they have made the playoffs in four of Murray’s six campaigns, despite the budget limitations he’s faced.
Under his watch, the team has undergone a youth movement that they’re started to reap the rewards of. Defensemen Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, who played significant roles in the 2013-14 campaign, are two early examples of that, but there’s still have a lot of talent coming. They have the second best farm system by Hockey’s Future’s estimation, even after factoring out several “graduated” players like Fowler, Lindholm, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Emerson Etem.
One of their most promising prospects, goaltender John Gibson, might play a big role next season. The Ducks turned to him during the second round of the playoffs despite his lack of NHL experience and while he was far from perfect, he also showed a lot of promise. Then again, the Ducks might go with a more experienced option in 2014-15 to give Gibson additional time to develop.
Either way, the next task for the Ducks will be getting past the second round and moving on from the Teemu Selanne era. Although Selanne’s role was limited this season, the 43-year-old forward has been a fixture of this team for many years. His presence and leadership will be missed.
It was an emotional end for Teemu Selanne on Friday.
The Anaheim Ducks lost to the L.A. Kings in Game 7 of their second-round series, and it’s Selanne’s intention to retire from his playing career. He’s 43 years old and has had a Hall-of-Fame career on the ice, with 684 goals and 1,457 points in 1,451 regular season games. More importantly, he’s gained the respect of so many people around the hockey world.
Members of the Kings shook Selanne’s hand and embraced him at the end of Friday’s game, then lined up at their blue line, tapping their sticks in salute him. It was a classy moment for a classy individual.
“It’s unbelievable, so much class and respect. That’s what this game is all about,” said Selanne during a post-game interview. “It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years.
“There’s going to be a huge hole to fill. I’ll probably go try out for a few rec league teams,” he added, as per the Anaheim Ducks Twitter account.