This season, Anaheim Ducks‘ fans have been wishing Teemu Selanne well on his unofficial farewell tour. The Ducks forward is in his 21st year (20 playing seasons, lost one due to the lockout) in the National Hockey League and is on a one-year deal, making people think he will retire after the 2012-13 season. Although he is 42-years old, he is leaving the door open to play a 22nd season.
Selanne was drafted 10th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. In 1992-93, his rookie season, the Helsinki, Finland native set an all-time rookie record of 76 goals for the Jets, he also added 56 assists for 132 points. After spending two and a half seasons with the Jets, he was traded to the Ducks. He was first angered by the trade, but later calmed down when he learned about playing in Anaheim.
The forward spent five-plus seasons with the Ducks before being moved to the San Jose Sharks in 2001. Prior to the 2003-04 season, Selanne signed with the Colorado Avalanche and played next to his former linemate, Paul Kariya. After knee surgery during the 2004-05 lockout season, he once again joined the Ducks, where he remained to date.
Selanne is a fan-favorite fixture in Anaheim and as one of the best players to ever play in the NHL. The game will miss him when he does eventually retire, but that might not be as soon as some think.
This season, he has 18 points on six goals and 12 assists in 28 games. His 18 points this season is good for 112th in the NHL, meaning he has scored more points than 657 players who have played at least a game this season, not bad for a 42-year old.
Of course, the Ducks won’t sign him to an eight-year deal like Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf signed this month, but there would be no reason for the team not to ink him for one more year. His current point production, team leadership and experience is worth another year in Anaheim.