Quite honestly things are not looking good for hockey fans this season. With talks sporadic and the first two weeks of games already cancelled, the prospects of getting to see NHL hockey this year and becoming increasingly grim.
For a lot of players this simply means heading to Europe or Russia and signing on with a team to keep in hockey shape, earn some money, and maybe just pass the time until the NHL lifts the lockout.
However for a guy like Teemu Selanne, it’s not quite that simple. If the entire season is cancelled due to the lockout, Selanne will reach his 43rd birthday close to three months before the season opener. Despite the fact that he is in tremendously good hockey condition, and that he’s coming off a season in which he actually led the Anaheim Ducks in points, it’s very difficult and risky to play professional hockey at that age.
Add to that the changes in conference alignment and the growing suspicion that the Ducks are moving into a rebuilding phase, and it seems more and more unlikely that Selanne would have any reason to return to Anaheim for one more season. He’s surprised us many times before and there’s no question that he could still play the game. However after a full year off, would he really want to dive back into the grind of a full NHL season? I suppose he’s the only one that could answer for sure.
It’s possible that Selanne could get the best of both worlds. Were the NHL to reach an agreement with its players and lift the lockout, teams would play a shortened season, which would give Selanne a shorter less strenuous schedule. It would also give him one more chance to play alongside Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Saku Koivu, all of whom’s future’s with the Ducks are uncertain after this season. However if we don’t see the lockout lifted and the season is cancelled, I’d be willing to bet that another year of Selanne goes with it
Selanne has been great for Ducks fans, the city of Anaheim and hockey in its entirety. Here’s to hoping for a CBA agreement soon, so that we might get to see one of the most deserved future hall of famers lace up his skates one last time and play some hockey.