Selanne nearing decision, wants to play big role
It certainly sounds like Anaheim Ducks winger and all-time great Teemu Selanne will play another season, though we'll know for sure if that's the case in short order.
"By next week, I know what I'm going to do" Selanne recently told Eric Stephens of the OC Register (paid link).
Selanne also clarified that the choice was always either Anaheim or retirement.
One of the lingering issues for Selanne as he approaches his annual "decision day," concerns his role with the Ducks next season. "I need to play top minutes," Selanne told the Register, "That's what I'm looking for."
"If (my teammates) are better than I am, I am expecting and accepting a smaller role," the most productive Finnish born scorer of all time continued, "That's fair for everybody... I don't know if I'm ready to play 10-12 minutes a game."
Selanne turned 43 this summer. Though Selanne was productive last season recording 24 points in 46 games, his counting stats mask some of the diminishing returns Selanne's performance is beginning, inevitably, to brush up against.
For example, Selanne opened the season with a four point outburst against the Vancouver Canucks. The rest of the way he recorded just 23 points in 52 games including the postseason.
With Selanne on the ice at even-strength in 2013, the Ducks were rather handily outscored despite receiving stellar goaltending from Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller. That's probably because they were buried in their own end.
In fact of the 11 players whom Selanne skated with for over 100 minutes at even-strength last season, nine of them had a better attempted shot differential without Selanne and eight of them had a better goal differential away from the Finnish winger.
The Ducks are probably a better team if Teemu Selanne returns this upcoming season. But with wingers like Corey Perry, Kyle Palmieri, Daniel Winnik, Andrew Cogliano, Emerson Etem and Jakub Silfverberg on the roster, guaranteeing an aging sniper "top minutes" might not be the most sensible course of action for Anaheim.
(Sticktap to Puck Daddy)