Teemu Selanne has heard the “one more year” chants from the fans. Now he might be hearing it from the NHL.
The league probably wouldn’t mind seeing the Finnish Flash on the ice in an Anaheim uniform, rather in the stands, when the Ducks open the 2011-12 regular season in Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 7.
The Ducks were one of four teams (the Sabres, Kings and Rangers are the others) chosen to take part in the “NHL Premiere” and “NHL Face-Off,” a now-annual tradition of opening the season overseas. It’s the first time the Ducks have started a season in Europe since back-to-back games against the Kings in London to open the 2007-08 season.
The European schedule begins with an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 4 against Jokerit of the SM-Liga at Hartwall Arena. After the Friday game against the Sabres, the Ducks play the Rangers in Stockholm on Oct. 8.
The Ducks roster currently features three other Finns, Saku Koivu, Jarkko Ruutu and Toni Lydman. Only Koivu and Lydman are signed beyond this season, however.
After winning the second of the two London games in 2007, the Ducks lost eight of their next 11. Then-GM Brian Burke later said he would have chosen the team’s post-European schedule differently, and it will be interesting to see how Bob Murray does it this time around.