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Ducks Sign Selanne to One-Year Contract

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks announced today that they have signed right wing Teemu Selanne to a one-year contract through the 2010-11 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

“We are thrilled to have Teemu back for his 19th NHL season and 12th in an Anaheim Ducks uniform,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “His commitment to the game is unparalleled, both on and off the ice. We look forward to another strong year for Teemu in 2010-11.”

Earlier today, Selanne released a statement through the Ducks' Facebook and Twitter pages that read: Ducks Fans – After thinking about it for the last few months, I've decided to return to play for the Ducks. I’m excited about the summer additions the team has made. I know this team can win.

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Selanne, 40 (7/3/70), appeared in 54 games for the Ducks last season, collecting 27-21=48 points with a +3 rating and 16 penalty minutes (PIM). His .50 goals-per-game average led the team and ranked eighth in the NHL. Selanne became the 18th player in NHL history to score 600 goals on Mar. 21 vs. Colorado and surpassed friend and childhood idol Jari Kurri for sole possession of 17th on the all-time goals list with his 602nd and 603rd goals on Apr. 2 vs. Vancouver. Selanne became one of only three Europeans to score 600 goals and one of only seven right wingers to accomplish the feat. Teemu’s two power play goals on Apr. 2 were the 217th and 218th of his career, moving him past Mike Gartner for sole possession of ninth place in power play goals all-time.

Selanne Highlights
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In 1,186 career NHL games, Selanne has scored 606-654=1,260 points, ranking 35th in all-time points and 56th in all-time assists. Among active NHL players, Selanne ranks first in goals, seventh in assists and third in scoring. With 379-412=791 points in 701 games in an Anaheim uniform (1996-2001 & 2005-10), Selanne is the Ducks’ franchise leader in goals, assists, points, power play goals (147), power play points (333), game-winning goals (65), plus/minus (+117) and games played. He won his first Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 in his 15th NHL season.

A native of Helsinki, Finland, Selanne represented Finland at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver for the fifth time in his career, capturing the bronze medal (his third Olympic medal). Selanne became the all-time Olympic men’s hockey scorer (20-17=37 points in 31 career games) with an assist on Feb. 19, 2010 vs. Germany, surpassing Valeri Kharlamov and Vlastimil Bubnik (former Czechoslovakia) and Harry Watson (Canada) to capture sole possession of the title.

Selanne spoke to reporters via conference call from his home in Finland on Monday afternoon (nighttime in Finland):

Obviously I’m very happy to sign a deal to play one more year. I’m very excited. This is a good start to a new season.

The way last season ended, I was really enjoying hockey again after those two injuries. I thought I needed more time to think about it and go through the whole season. The longer I thought about it, the more I got the feeling that I’m not done yet.

Last week or so I got stronger feelings that I wanted to play more. I really like what Bob Murray has done in the summertime. That’s a good start.

Every year I think it might be my last year. That’s how I really get motivated to get better and better. It helps me to have the attitude of, “This is it, and I’m going to leave everything there.” It’s worked pretty well for me, so I think I’ll be the same way this coming year.

I think it’s a good sign when you still enjoy the game and you can compete with the young guys. It’s hard to retire, especially when you still enjoy it. It would be easier to do it if you think you can’t play at the same level and you don’t enjoy it as much. But if you do both, that’s the reason I’m still playing.

On rumors of Paul Kariya signing with Anaheim,
I’ve talked to Paul a couple times and I know he would be very excited to come back and play with us. I’ve talked with Bob [Murray] a little bit about it too. That’s their call and I don’t know much more than that. Paul has done so much for Ducks hockey in the past, and I know he loves the area and he can still play at the highest level. Hopefully they can find something that makes both sides happy.

All the years I played with Paul were so much fun that it would be nice to have it happen again. It’s their decision to find something that works for both. Of course I’m supporting that idea.

On his offseason training,
I’ve done everything that I’ve done in the past. It’s a good program I’ve done for years. I knew that I would have to do that right away, so that just in case I wanted to play, I’d be ready.

On Anaheim’s offseason transactions,
We’ve got two solid defensemen in Andy Sutton and Toni Lydman. We signed Saku. We have a good group of guys there.

On Koivu’s signing affecting his decision,
Saku’s signing affected me for sure. We were talking earlier and I said, “If I decide to come back, I hope it’s a team we have a chance to win with.” I really believe Saku is a big part of that. We’re both happy with what our team has done.”

On last season,
Watching the playoffs from your couch at home is tough. Hopefully we remember that feeling and find a way to get back to the playoffs. The way we were playing at the end was so solid. We ran out of time and everybody else was playing so well. That start to the season really killed us. We can’t have another start like that this season.

On turning 40,
I don’t feel much different. The biggest challenge for me is the recovery time is tougher and that means you have to be smarter, train harder, drink fluids. That’s pretty much what you should be doing anyway. I don’t feel 40, but if this is what 40 feels like, it feels pretty good.

On his plans for the rest of the offseason,
“I’m skating here [in Finland], then at the end of the month I’ll come back to Southern California and get back to business.
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