Much of the hockey world was saddened as Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement on Thursday, bringing a storied 20-year career to an end. Still playing at a high level, many had hoped he would be coming back for at least one more season, as something of a farewell tour.
Some were surprised when Selanne returned prior to this season. Figuring he was headed for permanent residence on the golf course, Selanne ended up signing a one-year contract to return to the Ducks last summer. And, like LIdstrom, most of the hockey world is tickled with glee when we see Teemu step out onto the ice.
Selanne continues to bring it night after night, every year. He played in all 82 games this season, finishing with 60 points for Anaheim. He has over 1,400 career points in 1,341 games.
One has to wonder how the state of the team will affect his decision. The Ducks got off to a putrid start before going on a decent run after hiring Bruce Boudreau, but still missed the postseason. You can likely expect the Ducks to be back in contention next season, but there are rumors that high level talent, like Ryan Getzlaf, could end up traded this summer. So you have to wonder how that will factor into his decision.
Ultimately, it will come down to high a level Selanne can compete at. If he feels he can come back and put up 60+ points again on a strong Ducks team, there’s obviously a strong chance he could return. As of right now, speculation says he will do just that, especially after the Ducks signed Saku Koivu to a new one-year deal.
No one really knows for sure, though. I would imagine the Ducks want an answer sooner, rather than later so they have an idea of how to approach the summer. Selanne is expected to have an answer by the end of June for the Ducks. Most hope that it’s one that involved him lacing up the skates for at least one more campaign.
As weird as next season will already be without one Hall of Famer, in Lidstrom, it would be tough to handle going into the 2012-13 season down two of the game’s all time greats.