Turns out the Finnish media were correct last week when they reported that future hall-of-famer, Teemu Selanne, had decided to play one more year. The Anaheim Ducks signed the prolific scoring winger to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million plus bonuses.
Selanne, who has suffered a few fluke injuries the past couple of seasons, still has plenty of goal scoring left in him. Despite playing only 54 games, he scored 27 goals, including #600 of his career. There is no reason why he cannot continue on that pace, continuing to move up the all-time scorers list.
Selanne released a statement this morning (in English, not Finnish).
"After thinking about it for the last few months, I've decided to return to play for the Ducks. I’m excited about the summer additions the team has made. I know this team can win."
Normally a 40-year-old player would not be worth $3.25 million, but much younger players would be happy to produce half of what Selanne has done in his career.
Ducks GM, Bob Murray, echoed what fans are thinking.
"We are thrilled to have Teemu back for his 19th NHL season and 12th in an Anaheim Ducks uniform. His commitment to the game is unparalleled, both on and off the ice. We look forward to another strong year for Teemu in 2010-11.”
While it is unknown exactly how much gas is left in Selanne's tank, it would not be unreasonable to assume that this season could be his last. He has already won the Stanley Cup. He has reached the 600 goal mark and bypassed friend, idol and former teammate, Jari Kurri. He is the most prolific scorer in Olympic history.
One thing is sure, playing in the post-season is still Selanne's goal. That is something the Ducks did not accomplish last season and Selanne will certainly do his best to change that next spring.
"Watching the playoffs from your couch at home is tough," Selanne commented in his conference call. "Hopefully we remember that feeling and find a way to get back to the playoffs. The way we were playing at the end was so solid. We ran out of time and everybody else was playing so well. That start to the season really killed us. We can’t have another start like that this season."
Without a doubt, fans will still be chanting "one more year" at the end of next season. If Chris Chelios can wait until 47 to finally retire, Selanne just might have a few more years to go. For now, we'll take one more.