While some are waiting for their favorite restricted free agents to be signed, others are waiting to see whether or not Teemu Selanne is going to come back for at least one more season in the NHL. After scoring 31 goals and piling up 80 points last year, it was a renaissance for the 40 year-old superstar in Anaheim.
After a year with so many good things for Selanne and so much nostalgia to build on, NHL fans are hopeful that he’ll give it one more go. With Selanne being 41 now and dealing with a knee that’s hounded the latter stages of his career, he’s taking his time to make a decision on whether or not to retire.
A report out of a Finnish newspaper says that Selanne won’t be making a decision on his future until September. Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register got cracking on finding a translator for the story and hooked us up with the information about the Finnish Flash’s future we’re itchy to find out.
Enlisting the translation help of Vesa Rantanen, who’s covered Selanne and many other Finnish players in the NHL for the paper, Selanne reportedly said that it’s “fair for all parties” to hold off on announcing his intentions to the team until then.
Selanne, 41, originally had set a personal deadline of July 1 but pushed that back after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his troublesome left knee to see whether it will hold up to competition for another 82 or more games.
The Ducks are a much more offensively potent and formidable team with Selanne on the ice and last year was a true revelation for him. Breaking the 30 goal barrier while playing more than 70 games for the first time since the Ducks Stanley Cup winning season in 2007 helped him give the Ducks the kind of offensive balance they needed. Having a first line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Bobby Ryan is great for scoring goals but having Selanne line up with Saku Koivu and Jason Blake gave them a solid one-two punch with their lines.
With Selanne waiting until September and, presumably, before training camp to make a decision it leads us to believe he’s going to be back for another year. The Ducks have been great to Selanne and waiting that long to make a career choice would leave the Ducks in a lurch if he were to retire right before the team was to get together. Unless Selanne has any sort of setbacks with his knee, it would seem likely that we’ll see Selanne back out there one more season.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.
Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.
Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.
The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.
Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.
After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.
Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.
MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.
But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.
“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”
Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.
“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”
Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.
Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.
Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.
The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.
Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.
Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.