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Selanne Reflects on the Season, His Future

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
Ducks winger Teemu Selanne spoke for several minutes during team-wide exit interviews on Tuesday afternoon at Honda Center. Following is a transcript:

Selanne and Other Season-Closing Interviews

On his emotions at the end of Game 6 in Nashville

It was pretty much everything. It was obviously disappointing and it’s tough to lose like that. The feeling right after is so empty. You are battling the whole year with your teammates, trying to get success and it just stops like that. It happens so quickly.

On his future plans
I honestly don’t know. I shouldn’t even answer that question anymore. I’ll let you know when I know something. Actually, I think it’s funny almost how every year it’s the same. Everybody keeps asking. I have to say don’t ask because I don’t know. It’s the same question all the time, so it’s getting a little old. I’m repeating stuff, but you have to wait and see how you feel. At this age, you have to be 100 percent sure you are ready to put yourself in this situation again. It takes so much more dedication now than when I was younger. This is no way you can do anything at 50 or 75 percent. You have to go all the way. To be honest, I don’t have to rush with it. That is a good thing.

On playing at 40
It’s tougher physically. There is no time for recovery. That is the biggest thing you have to do between the games. Also, the summertime is tough. You have to start doing the right things earlier and dedicate yourself in the right way. It’s a tough package, but it’s so enjoyable too when you see it works. It was so much fun this year. That is all I really asked. It’s not about goals, points or anything like that. Always before the season I hope every day I can enjoy this. That is my goal. This year is exactly what I expected in a fun way. Of course in the end, I felt we had more to give. But sometimes it’s not enough.

On what goes into his decision
One is am I healthy and am I ready to push myself again. Another part is you want to have a good team and a chance to win again. Those two things together make the final push for myself. The good thing is I think we have all the tools here.

On his timetable for deciding
I try to use (July 1). It would be best for everybody if I know sooner than later. There is no pressure. I go back to Finland in mid-June.

On if he would be at peace with his career ending with that Game 6 loss
Yeah, I think so. I try to play like I left everything there. That is how you should play any way, in every season. You can’t just win the Stanley Cup every year and just make a decision that now it is time. That would be awesome, but it doesn’t work like that. I really believe that we had enough tools to go further. We lost to a great hockey team. They played well.

"I've got to be honest, it was so much fun this year. That's all I really ask. It's not about goals or points or anything like that. Before the season I hoped I can everyday enjoy this. That's my goal. This year was successful in a fun way." - Teemu Selanne
On if he would consider playing with another team
That I haven’t thought about doing, having a chance to go somewhere else. This is my place for sure.  I hope (Winnipeg) has a team. That city and the fans really deserve that. Maybe my sons (will play there). I’m too old to go somewhere else.

On when he begins to train
July 1. Until then, I can pretty much do whatever. Then, the focus starts.

On if the Ducks can contend next season
Absolutely. I already talked with Bob (Murray). The good thing about him is he wants to win. Even the moves he made at the deadline this year, he tried to get better and give us a chance to go all the way again. That is great news for every player in this organization.

On any injuries that he had during the year
Nothing major like last year. When the season starts, I don’t think there is one day where you are 100 percent healthy. It’s a tough package and you have to learn to play with pain in a lot of different situations. I only had the groin injury before Christmas. Other than that, I was pretty healthy. Going into every season, you just hope you can stay healthy. That gives you a chance to succeed. I don’t care who you are, if you are not 100 percent, you can’t play your own level. That is why it is so important to stay healthy.

On if he can continue this type of production in the future
I don’t see why not. My whole career I played with great players. If I can play to my level, usually good things happen. Those guys who I have played with, for sure they have helped me so much. If I don’t believe that, I wouldn’t even be playing anymore. You can’t enjoy the game as much if you can’t do your own stuff.

On the young guys on the team
Our guys realized how big of a step you need to take to succeed in the playoffs. They handled it very good, but I know they can also be better. Next year, they are going to be more experienced and maybe enjoy it even more. The first year you are a little nervous and you don’t really know what to expect. It’s a learning process. We have a lot of great young players here and that is how they learn. This organization has a bright future with these youngsters. They showed they can do this.

On the Ducks beginning next season in his native Finland
I know the people there are very excited about it when they heard Anaheim was going to come there. They were really happy. We have four Finns here, at least right now. It’s going to be a big deal. Either way, I’m excited too. I’m going to be there doing something. But let’s see what it is. It’s good for hockey. I know the guys are going to really enjoy it. It’s a great city and a good atmosphere. It’s going to be a good experience for all the players.
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