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Selanne announces, via video, 2011-12 return

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 4:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011


Teemu Selanne made it official: He will be back with the Anaheim Ducks for another season.

Selanne announced Thursday on the team's website that he will be returning for a 19th season in the NHL. The 41-year-old has 637 goals and 1,340 points in 1,259 career games with the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and the Ducks.

"You guys knew I can't stop playing yet, so I'm back at least one more season," Selanne said in a message to Anaheim fans. "My middle name is 'One More,' and we start the season in Helsinki, so see you there."

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reported Selanne has agreed to a one-year contract worth $4 million after having one of the greatest seasons for a player of his age in NHL history for Anaheim in 2010-11.

"I'm very happy that my knee has recovered from surgery and is ready for the season. I'm excited and optimistic about what this team can do and thankful to have another opportunity to play in Anaheim." -- Teemu Selanne

Only Gordie Howe and John Bucyk have scored more than Selanne's 31 goals and 80 points among players who were at least 40 years old. He was second on the Ducks in goals behind League-leader Corey Perry, who tallied 50.

The totality of Selanne's campaign was remarkable enough, but his role in helping the Ducks make the playoffs was incredible. Selanne scored a game-tying goal in the final 2:07 of regulation four times during an 18-game stretch in February and March, and the Ducks went on to win each of those contests -- twice each against playoff competitors Dallas and Calgary -- in overtime.

There was no doubt that the skills were still there. But offseason knee surgery led him to delay any announcement on a return until the day before the Ducks began training camp.

"I'm very happy that my knee has recovered from surgery and is ready for the season," Selanne said in a statement. "I'm excited and optimistic about what this team can do and thankful to have another opportunity to play in Anaheim."

Added Ducks general manager Bob Murray: "As he showed again last season, Teemu still has the drive, determination and skill to play at an elite level. Most importantly for us, his passion comes from not just playing, but playing for the Ducks."

Known as The Finnish Flash, Selanne has been one of the top players in the world for two decades. A first-round pick in 1988 by the Jets, Selanne produced the best rookie season in League history in 1992-93, scoring a record 76 goals and collecting 132 points to be an easy choice for the Calder Trophy.

A 10-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game, Selanne has led the League in goals three times and finished in the top five in points on four occasions. He is 14th all-time in goals scored, and a repeat of his 2010-11 performance would tie him with Luc Robitaille for 10th place at 668.

This is Selanne's second tour of duty with the Ducks. He holds several franchise records, including goals (410) and assists (461). He was the All-Star game MVP in 1998 after becoming the first European player to score a hat trick in the event.

Selanne won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and he has represented Finland five times in the Winter Olympics, helping his country to one silver and two bronze medals. His 37 points are the most by anyone in Olympic history, and he was voted the top forward at the 2006 tournament.

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild