Selanne doubtful tonight. What about when he’s ready?

Randy Carlyle told the Ducks’ Web site that Teemu Selanne is likely to miss his 17th consecutive game tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Count on a top line of Matt Beleskey, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry; and a second line of Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Dan Sexton.

Selanne fractured his hand Dec. 3 against Dallas.

If and when he returns, there is some question as to how Randy Carlyle will shuffle the Ducks’ top six. Common logic dictates that Beleskey will likely return to a bottom-six role — where he began after being recalled from the AHL — but there is still an issue of where the wingers fit best around Getzlaf and Koivu, the centers.

“The issue is, does he go back where Sexton is, or does he go back where Bobby Ryan is, or does Bobby Ryan go back up (or do I) put Bobby Ryan in a different position with Teemu?” Carlyle pondered. “There’s all kinds of different scenarios that can be created in your mind, but I think first and foremost, if we can put him in a situation where he can complement the players he’s playing with because we know how special a player Teemu’s been for this hockey club and we’ll try to provide him with quality minutes where he can score goals. That’s what he is.”

One thing is certain: The goal of whatever personnel changes are made is to create opportunities for Selanne, who is seven goals shy of 600.

“I think we’ll find room for Teemu Selanne,” Carlyle said. “That’s as simple as I can put it. Those decisions are tough ones, but those are good ones when you feel some other people have played well enough to earn the opportunity. But we know that Teemu’s going to play in our lineup and when he’s healthy, he’ll get an opportunity to come back in.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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