We’ve seen a host of retirements this summer, mostly from Detroit thanks to guys like Brian Rafalski, Chris Osgood, and Kris Draper all opting to hang up their skates to live family life full-time. Oddly enough, we’ve seen 40+ year-old Nicklas Lidstrom opt to play for one more season and there’s another big name we’re waiting to hear from out of Anaheim.
Teemu Selanne had one of the best and most surprising seasons for a man of his advanced playing age. At 40 years-old, Selanne scored 31 goals and finished the year with 80 points, the most points he’s had in a season since 2006-2007 when he had 48 goals and 94 points in helping lead the Ducks to the Stanley Cup.
With 80 points at age 40 and a legacy that dates back to the 1990s that makes all of us old enough to have seen him in his 76-goal scoring hey-day feeling warm and fuzzy, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of interest in seeing come back and do it one more time. So will he or won’t he? Selanne’s agent tells the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens that there’s no decision as of yet.
Agent Don Baizley has been tight-lipped about his star client and continues to offer little in the form of updates about Selanne’s progress. When asked by the Register how Selanne is doing after his arthroscopic procedure in late June or whether there’s any new timeline on announcing his plans, Baizley said in an e-mail that there’s “nothing new at my end.”
So while his own previous deadline of July 1 is now long gone, Selanne continues to keep Ducks fans and the hockey world waiting. But that’s nothing new for the Finnish Flash, who’s typically signed one-year contracts and has shown previously that he won’t rush into revealing his plans even when it’s evident that he wants to continue playing.
Oh so secretive, Teemu. He knows the fans in Anaheim want him to come back, he knows the Ducks staff and GM Bob Murray want him to come back, and he knows that the fans around the league love him. He’s also a guy whose career has been so good for so long that he’s earned the right to take his sweet time deciding if he wants to.
We’re unabashed Selanne fans here and the more we can see of him, the better. If Teemu decides that his once surgically repaired right knee can’t handle the rigors of a full season and playoffs again, he’s got no shame whatsoever in walking away from the NHL. With a career that’s seen him break the record for goals scored by a rookie (76) and winning the Calder Trophy in 1992-1993 and moving on to win the Stanley Cup in 2007 with Anaheim and sitting 14th all-time in goals scored with 637 he’s had a lot to be proud of in what’s sure to be a Hall of Fame career.
That said, seeing Selanne out there giving it one more go and being able to do so at a premiere level the way Nick Lidstrom does in Detroit as a 40+ year-old makes everyone hope they never stop playing. The end is near for both players in the NHL but we’re hoping for Selanne the end hasn’t already arrived.