The Finnish Flash signed another one year contract, worth $4 million, just in time to take his physical and get his picture taken as the Ducks proceed to training camp.
"Obviously, I’m very happy to sign a new contract for a year," Selanne said in a conference call this afternoon. "I’m very happy to be back. During the summer, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to play again because of the knee surgery I had in early July. It took a long time for it to start working properly. I’m extremely happy and excited about this year, and it’s so nice to be with the Ducks team again."
It did not take long to agree to a contract with GM Bob Murray. Talks began yesterday. (How many hockey players can you say that about? Hmmmm Drew Doughty and the Kings.)
It certainly helps when you know the team you want to play for and you know you want to play. The rest are just details.
"As he showed again last season, Teemu still has the drive, determination and skill to play at an elite level,” Murray commented. “Most importantly for us, his passion comes from not just playing, but playing for the Ducks.”
With the Ducks playing a pre-season game against Jokerit, Selanne's former club in Finland, as well as opening in Helsinki, that had to play a part in his decision. The Ducks will also get to visit Winnipeg in December, thanks to their reappearance in the NHL. Playing in Winnipeg again, the team that drafted Selanne, had to have played a part, too, right?
"Those things weren’t a factor in me coming back," Selanne claimed. "I looked at them both as really nice bonuses for me and great experiences. Both places are very important places in my life and I’m extremely excited about playing in both places. It’s going to be fun."
Fun is a gross understatement.
Seeing as I am going to Finland in two weeks on the Ducks road trip, it will be amazing to see first hand how Selanne is revered in his home country.
Will this finally be the last year for the 41 year old? He claims that it will be.
Can we believe him? It is highly likely that this will, indeed, be Selanne's final year as a player.
He has 1,259 games under his belt. 637 goals. 1,340 points. Two thirds of his career has been spent in Anaheim.
Many 20 or 30 year olds would have loved to have had 31 goals and 80 points last season. Even getting older and "slowing down" the guy still blows other competitors out of the water.
Whether this really is his final year or if he will once again live up to his middle name and do it all over again next September, it doesn't matter. He has had one hell of a career and the privilege of seeing him play in person, night in and night out, has been priceless.
I think we are all in it with Selanne and want nothing less than another Stanley Cup win. How can you not root for the most likeable guy in all of hockey?