Selänne hints he would continue with Anaheim if team shows desire to keep winning
The Finnish NHL ice hockey star Teemu Selänne’s extending of contract with his team Anaheim Ducks depends on the team’s plans for the near future.
The 2007 Stanley Cup winner and the all-time points leader in men's Olympic ice hockey, who has played in the NHL since the 1992-93 season, told the Finnish daily Turun Sanomat that he will quit if the team announces plans to perform a rejuvenation operation and start building a new squad.
Selänne, who turns 40 early next month, said that his continuing with the team is likely "if Anaheim decides that is still wants to win next season and if it wants to keep the team more or less the same.”
Selänne believes that the situation is very similar to that of his fellow countryman Saku Koivu, 35, who is still without a contract. The ball - or the puck - is in the team’s court so to speak.
“Saku, too, is in a situation where he wants to continue to play in a winning team”, Selänne commented about his teammate to the Turku-based newspaper.
Over the weekend Selänne was in Montreal to follow the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix there.
He drew a parallel between himself and the decision of the Finnish former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen to leave F1.
“Even Räikkönen would not come back to drive for one of the second-rate teams”, he commented.
Last season, Selänne - who has for several years been continuing his career on a "see how it goes" basis - became only the 18th NHL player in history to score 600 goals, and on April 2nd this year he scored his 602nd and 603rd goals, eclipsing Jari Kurri's record for Finnish-born players.
He made 54 appearances for Anaheim last season, and scored 27 goals and 21 assists.
It was the fifteenth time he had scored more than 40 points in a season. Selänne also holds the record number of points - a staggering 132 - scored by an NHL player in his rookie season (1992-93, Winnipeg Jets), and he has two bronze medals and one silver medal from the Olympics with the Finnish national side.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Ice Hockey: Teemu Selänne will make it to Olympics (26.1.2010)
Selänne and Anaheim win Stanley Cup (7.6.2007)
Teemu Selänne (Anaheim Ducks)
Teemu Selänne (Wikipedia)