Teemu and I talked a fair amount after last season. We kept in touch over the playoffs and into the summer. We talked about things and as time went on, I kind of felt he really wanted to play again. I think he had such a good experience at the end of the year and his line played well. He had fun. I think he liked how he felt about himself at the end of the year.
He still can fly. He’s still got it. He still has the passion to play the game and he loves to score goals.On Selanne’s injuries last year,
I took one look at him and I thought, Oh my God. The size of this guy’s heart, to keep trying to play, unless you’ve had some of those injuries he’s had, you can’t know how tough it was on him. The shot he took in the face, that was just the worst of all. He just didn’t look like himself. On the Kariya rumors,
I have asked Teemu about Paul, I asked some of my other veterans about a bunch of players out there who they may have played with or been around in the last little while. Paul is one of them and there have been a few others. Teemu obviously knows Paul very well, so that was a good source to go to. I don’t know if Paul has decided if he’s going to play again or not. It remains to be seen. We have to find the answer to that question first. On Kariya’s history with Anaheim,
I don’t think about it at all. My guys will try to figure out how we can put a good hockey team on the ice and be competitive. I don’t really look at what’s gone on in the past.
Look at our team last year. You thought for sure Saku and Teemu would have chemistry right off the bat. Well, they didn’t. So, the best laid plans sometimes just don’t work. It’s our job as a group to put the best team we can on the ice. If Paul Kariya or someone else is a player we think will be a good fit for the organization, then we can move forward. On other signings,
There is the Bobby Ryan
issue still sitting out there and we’re attempting to go at that in a different way the next couple of days, in terms of years. That’s all I’m going to say.
That has to fall in place and we need to be cognizant of the fact of where we are cap wise whenever I talk about anything. You don’t want to leave yourself where we were once before when the Dustin Penner thing hit, or with the decision Chicago just had to make with their young defenseman Hjalmarsson. Those are all things that come big time into play whenever you talk about anybody. I think we’ve taken some really good steps so far with this hockey team and we’ll attempt to keep plugging away at it.