As every day passes, it is more realistic that a lockout is inevitable.
If September 15th rolls by and no agreement is met, it would mark the second time in just about eight years that NHL fans had to endure another year without hockey. Lockouts don’t just affect the players, it also has a major impact on its fans. While I can confidently say that a lockout would not stray me from the sport, I would be immensely disappointed after another let down.
Now, what if you were Teemu Selanne in this situation?
A 42-year-old future Hall of Famer with four kids decides to come back to play in the league for another year and a lockout puts a damper on his decision.There are so many more questions that would be racing through his mind that I am lost as to what he would do merely because I’m not sure what I would do if I were in his “skates.”
I will be empathetic for the rest of this article, but just know that I am writing about my all-time favorite player in all of sports; therefore, my bias may shine through. Here are some important factors that Selanne will probably be addressing in a decision.
1. Age- Let’s be honest, Selanne has already surpassed the average age of a hockey player. Most retire by now; unless you’re Chris Chelios, then Selanne has a couple more years. If another season is axed, Selanne would have to add another year to his age and he may be over it by then. Ultimately, I don’t think this factor has much bearing on his decision.
2. Family- With three boys and a girl, all of whom are still young enough to yearn for their daddy to be around more, a lockout would result in more time spent with the family. By all means that is certainly not a bad thing, but it may just convince Selanne that he needs and wants to be involved with his children while they’re young and still learning things such as playing hockey. Teaching his boys hockey and being at their games might just be the fix he needs to be able to move on from the NHL.
3. Desire- I can definitely relate to this factor. I was laid off last year and was unemployed for an entire year. The longer I was out of work my desire to be productive and get into the workforce dwindled. The same can apply to Selanne. In combination of the factors above, a year without playing may affect his desire to go back on the ice. He may wake up and not look forward to lacing them up when the time finally permits.
4. Physicality- Personally I think Selanne, also known as The Finnish Flash, still has it. Continuously, year in and year out, he lives up to his nickname and puts up the numbers to coincide. Though Selanne is healthy and, as far as I know injury free, a year off might affect him. I truly don’t believe that Selanne would ever let himself go, but what if he decides to stop hitting the gym, stop skating and gets rusty or heaven forbids gets an injury , who knows if he could physically come back.
When the thought of a lockout affecting Teemu Selanne was brought to my attention, I started to get really worried. There’s no doubt that Selanne will be an Anaheim Duck for the remainder of his career, but I hope I can watch him play for at least one more season though there’s several reasons why a lockout can deter that.