Another summer brings about a familiar situation to the Anaheim Ducks. It’s one that they’ve dealt with over the course of the past several offseasons. It’s time for them to wonder whether or not Teemu Selanne will return to add another year onto his Hall of Fame career.
Selanne Watch is important to fans throughout the league every summer. Few players are as universally liked in all of sports as Selanne is by hockey fans. He’s a generational talent, has always been a class act, and is simply one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of skates.
But while fans will continue to watch if whether or not Selanne will return next season, hopefully for less money than he’s been eating up in the last couple of years, it’s time to wonder if the Ducks are in a position where Selanne is crucial to their success. Do they actually need Teemu Selanne to come back for another year to contend for a Stanley Cup?
While there’s no doubt that Selanne has aged very well, as he was still putting up totals of 80 and 66 in the two years prior to this season, after he turned 40, the 2013 campaign was a bit of a disappointment for Selanne. He had only 24 points in 46 games, including only 12 goals.
He simply wasn’t as effective as he had been in the seasons prior. Is this a case of the shortened season not allowing Selanne to find his footing, or did he show his age this year? Could be a combination of both. The fact is, the Ducks have a fantastic offensive core, and some up-and-comers on the forward ranks.
They just aren’t in a position where Teemu Selanne is as crucial to the success of the team anymore. He’s important, yes. He’s a source of secondary scoring and a veteran leader. But the Ducks could survive without him.