The Anaheim Ducks will enter the 2013-14 season ready to put the memory of their early playoff exit in 2013 behind them. A regular season full of promise ended up not truning into the deep postseason they had hoped, and now the Ducks have a longer offseason to think about what went wrong. As they turn their attention towards next season, there are many free agents they need to make decisions on. One player they have less control over is Teeemu Selanne, who has hinted at retirement but could end up wanting to come back. After a decent season, there will certainly be those who think bringing him back is a good idea. However, this Ducks team has a ton of young talent and is ready to make continued progress forward. Selanne was a great nostalgic addition this season, but the time for the team to think with the brain and not the heart has come.
Selanne scored 12 goals and had 24 points for the Ducks this season, while playing in all but two games. He scored in the first game of the playoffs, but was then one of many Ducks players who seemed to disappear for the rest of the series. At 42 years old, there’s no reason he should command a contract like the one he had last season (cap hit of $4.5 million), and the Ducks would be better of locking up some of their young players for the long haul.
The emergence of young scoring talent like Peter Holland, Emerson Etem and Nick Bonino leaves less need for veteran scorers like Selanne and Saku Koivu. Holding these young players back from quality minutes is a mistake, and how could the team justify not being able to lock up a player like Bobby Ryan because they overspent on Selanne? With 675 goals and 1430 points, Selanne has nothing left to prove in the league and it might be better for him to go out on a high note rather than risk coming back and not being able to perform.