Selanne may retire if season lost

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One of the hockey’s most popular players, both on and off the ice, is pondering retirement as the NHL lockout drags on.

Because at 42 years old, Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne has better things to do than practice and scrimmage.

“A lot of times when I drive to the rink here and I know there’s only four of five guys skating, I’m thinking, ‘Right now, I’d like to call and say I’m done,’” Selanne  told the O.C. Register on Wednesday. “This is enough right now. I’m old enough to do something else and not play with the kids.

“Next time, I feel like I want to wait and see what happens. I have played so many games, so many years. This is not a big thing for me. If I have to retire like this, I’m still going to be a happy camper. But this is a sad way to go out, this way.”

Indeed, it would be sad. Not that he’d disappear forever. He’d still get to walk out on a red carpet some night and wave good-bye, and of course there will be his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in a few years.

But that’s not the same as, say, Wayne Gretzky’s last NHL game at Madison Square Garden.

The greats should go out on their own terms.

“The last lockout, there were 240 players who never played another shift in the NHL,” Selanne said. “Obviously if they’re going to (cancel) the whole season, there’s going to be a lot more players this time.

“Obviously I don’t know my situation but right now it’s very hard to even think about the year after this.”