The Ducks announced today that they have signed right wing Teemu Selanne
to a two-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
Selanne will be in the lineup tonight when the Ducks take on the Vancouver Canucks in preseason action at Honda Center.
“We’re happy to have Teemu back and thank him for his patience as we sorted out our salary cap situation,” said Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “Teemu is a true Duck. His loyalty to this franchise and community is unquestioned.”
A 10-time NHL All-Star, Selanne is Anaheim’s all-time leader in goals (325), points (689), plus/minus (+117), power play goals (117), power play points (278), game-winning goals (54) and overtime goals (5). He played in 26 games last season after signing with the club in February, scoring 12-11=23 points with a +5 rating. Selanne has scored 100 goals over the last three seasons (100-107=207 points in 188 games).
“This is the only place I wanted to play,” said Selanne. “We have great owners, great fans and a chance to win again. This team is hungry and ready to go.”
Selanne, 38 (7/3/70), won his first Stanley Cup in 2007. During the 2006-07 regular season, he finished third in the NHL in goals while ranking first in the league in power play goals (25) and tied for first in game-winning goals (10). Selanne also led the Ducks in goals, points, power play goals, game-winning goals, shots (257) and shooting percentage (18.7%). He became the oldest player in NHL history (36 at the time) to score more than 45 goals in one season. The 6-0, 204-pound forward added 5-10=15 points in 21 playoff games.
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke spoke to reporters at Honda Center prior to Sunday's preseason game between Anaheim and Vancouver:
On Teemu Selanne’s two-year deal,
It was Teemu’s request. I think he’s entertaining thoughts of playing next year, if his body will allow him to do it. I think the Olympics in particular are an allure for him. It would probably his last competition in a Team Finland uniform. I’m not saying he’s going to get there either from a longevity standpoint or from a player selection standpoint, that’s up to the Finns, but I think that’s certainly in the back of his mind.
First off, he asked for a three-year contract initially, so I think he wants to continue to play. I said I thought a two-year deal made more sense and that is what it worked out to be. He clearly feels he can play two years and he mentioned the Olympics in talking with me. Does that guarantee that he’s going to play two? I just had this debate with somebody. Someone said ‘You know it’s not right for these guys to have trouble making up their mind’. Our league is better if those guys play even half a year. Our league is better having Scott Niedermayer in for half a year. Our league is better if Teemu had taken half of this year off and then came back and played. If Mats Sundin decides to play half a year, our league is better for that. To me, with these older players it’s a legitimate wrestling match with what to do. I think you’re going to see this more and more.
On the details of Selanne’s contract,
These values reflect what Teemu means to us and what Anaheim means to him. These are below-market numbers. What Teemu could command and what he could have commanded the last two seasons, this is a guy who is taking a pay cut to play for Anaheim. I think any time an athlete does that is should be noted, singled out and praised. This is a wonderful young man. By taking the salaries he’s taking, he’s given us money to spend elsewhere and try to win. He’s a very, very rare guy. My admiration for him has always been considerable, but it just goes up all the time
On ever seeing a guy as loyal as Teemu,
Never. I think people would say Chelios has done the same thing in Detroit, so he should get some credit too. But in my situation in all the teams I’ve had, never. This is a rare guy and when that happens it should be saluted and praised.
On ever being worried Selanne would go elsewhere,
We made it clear that we wanted him back and he wanted to stay. It was just a mechanical thing. We had to take some steps first. I wasn’t worried about him going somewhere else. I really believed he wanted to play here.
On the Ducks’ salary cap,
Well, there is a whole bunch of ways to deal with it. One is to send players down, whether they are players on two-ways or one-ways. One is to trade a player for a pick, move some money and not take any money back. Those are all options. We’re looking at all of them. We don’t anticipate that we’ll have a problem getting under the cap to start the year or we wouldn’t have done this.
On Bobby Ryan being sent down to deal with the salary cap,
He’s done some good things and he’s done some things that he looks like a 21-year-old as well. We let our coach pick the team, but if that is the only solution when we get to the end of the camp, we’re sure going to look at it. Whether people think that’s equitable or not, I don’t care. We’re going to do what we have to do here to win as many games as we can, as we do every year. That is a distinct possibility, but it’s clearly not at the top of the list. We’re going to see if there is another way to skin that cat.
On trading Mathieu Schneider and now having more options to get under the salary cap,
It’s a big gorilla off my shoulders, I can tell you that. Until we dealt with the Mathieu Schneider situation, it hasn’t been a whole lot of fun because you don’t feel like you’ve got control over the decision-making process when you’re really at the mercy of the team stepping up. This will be an easier process. It will be a pure hockey decision that makes sense or we have internal options.