(Photo courtesy of Anaheim Ducks)
Teemu Selanne said he wanted to decide whether or not to extend his playing career by September 16. Looks like he beat his own deadline by a full day.
The 41-year-old right wing signed a one-year, $4 million contract Thursday that will keep the Ducks’ leading scorer in uniform for another year. The annual summer ritual of will-he-retire-or-re-sign was getting old, and there was a sense of finality this time when Selanne spoke to reporters on a national conference call.
“I look at it as my last year,” Selanne said. “Hopefully it’s going to be a good
- Selanne said he “couldn’t do much for two or three weeks” after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in July. It was around this time that general manager Bob Murray drafted his Plan B in case Selanne decided to retire.
- Murray put the contingency plan on paper, but never went as far as making phone calls to other teams or agents. “You have to be prepared,” he said.
- Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli issued a statement after Selanne re-signed — a truly unique gesture: “We are ecstatic to have Teemu back. His devotion to our organization, his teammates, and the fans is unparalleled. He is a true Duck at heart and we can’t wait to see him flying down the ice again this season.”
- Murray stressed that Selanne’s value goes beyond what he brings on the ice (which, last year, was 31 goals and 80 points). “It’s also Teemu in the dressing room. It’s Teemu walking to the rink every morning.”
- The Winnipeg Jets called Selanne’s agent, Don Baizley, to see if Selanne had any interest in returning to the birthplace of his NHL career. He did not. “When you have four kids and a couple dogs, a couple
horses and stuff, there’s no way I could move anymore.”