Really, it isn't supposed to end this way for Teemu Selanne
Players as good, as fun as the Anaheim Ducks
' 41-year-old winger, are lucky if they pop up once in a generation. Selanne has bridged the gap between at least two, and today he's as exciting as ever, providing the rest of the League and its 15-years-younger stars with a nightly how-to guide on staying vital and relevant. When it's 2012 and you were a rookie during the first Bush administration, you're not supposed to lead your team in scoring, but that's where Selanne finds himself.
And therein lies half the problem; Selanne, for all his talents, shouldn't lead Anaheim in scoring. Despite the presence of Selanne, 2011 Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry
, Ryan Getzlaf
and Bobby Ryan
, the Ducks dug themselves such a hole early in the season that coach Randy Carlyle
was fired before November was over. A post-New Year’s surge brought Anaheim back into the playoff discussion, but the Ducks have since lost steam.
Now, as March winds down, Selanne is faced with potentially ending his career with his team toward the bottom of the Western Conference. Considering his motivations in September -- Selanne made his latest "one more and we’ll see" decision because he thought Anaheim was a legitimate Cup contender -- the end may be even less satisfying than the standings show.