Ducks Executive Vice President & General Manager Bob Murray spoke to reporters via conference call Thursday afternoon about Teemu Selanne's decision to return to the Ducks.
On when negotiations started, Basically he told me Tuesday night that he was ready to come back. We talked and I told him he should start talking to Don [Baizley, his agent] that night and I started talking to Don yesterday. Teemu is a very special guy and he wants to stay here and play here. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else. On whether there were doubts Selanne would return, When he left here to go back to Finland, I thought he’d play for sure. Then he got operated on and I knew it made him very stiff. I got very worried. I was doubting if he’d be back. When you skate that well and that fast, anything that slows you down is no fun. So, I was definitely doubting at that time.
Teemu and I talk all the time, and we’re very open and honest with each other. It’s a wonderful relationship for me to have. After he was back for a little bit, and I knew he was working hard. I didn’t jinx myself by going to watch him, but I certainly knew what was going on. I didn’t go anywhere near there, but I knew he was skating and he was working out and that he was flying out there. I knew how he wanted to play, and that he wouldn’t play if he couldn’t be at that level. On whether he made alternate plans if Selanne didn't come back, I thought about it, obviously in late July when I knew he was struggling with the knee. There were different scenarios you could attempt to try, but you don’t’ know if any of them would work. We never put anything into action or made any phone calls, but you have to be prepared.
On the Ducks' prospects for 2011-12, I think legitimately our top two lines are pretty good. There’s no doubt about that. They carried us last year, and with Teemu back, it’s not just him [on the ice] but in the dressing room or walking into the rink every morning. We had to improve on our third line from last year, and I think we’re a little better. I don’t know how much yet. You have to play some games and see how people fit in. A lot of things can happen between now and the next couple of months.