We’re about to hit the midway mark of July, and the Anaheim Ducks still don’t have an answer as to whether or not they can expect their longtime forward, Teemu Selanne, to return for the upcoming season. Signs point to him possibly returning, but there’s been no indication either way.
It’s tough to say the Ducks would be lost without Selanne. Yes, they’d lose something of a veteran presence, but Selanne’s production certainly tailed off in 2013. Whether it was the shortened season or age finally showing in the 43-year-old, we don’t know. But they could survive.
Selanne tallied just 24 points, with an even split between goals and assists, in 2013. Obviously, the shortened season has to be taken into account, but he was also a minus-10. The Ducks were bounced out of the postseason in the first round, despite holding the no. 2 seed in the West. Is that they way he wants to go out?
As for those signs, Saku Koivu signed a one-year deal. There are thoughts out there that after one of Koivu and Selanne had signed, his countryman would follow. So the odds are in the favor of the Ducks for a Selanne return. Also, this is a team that is among the best in the league. He can try and win a final Stanley Cup with them before calling it quits.
Selanne should come back for one more year. He has nothing left to prove, of course. He’s one of the most prolific wingers in the history of the game, and can walk into the Hall of Fame and have a spot on Saturday if he retires tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean he should go out with a whimper like he did.
Call it a farewell tour. Announce during the summer that you’re coming back for just one more season. Play another year with Koivu, and take another run at a Stanley Cup. This is a talented team, and while they wouldn’t fall off the map without him, they’d certainly be better with him in the mix, especially after trading Bobby Ryan.
Either way, one would have to expect a decision is on the horizon. We’re in the middle of July. The Ducks likely would have had this done weeks ago if they could. While he should decide to return, whether or not Teemu Selanne decides to come back for another year, we’ll just have to wait and see.