In Anaheim, will he be more than just another player on the
Selanne returned to
Selanne was the most valuable player of the Olympic hockey tournament in Russia after leading Finland to the bronze medal — and a victory over Team USA — with four goals and six points in six Sochi games.
So does he remain a Duck averaging less than 14 minutes of ice time per game in a smaller rink that increases the emphasis on speed, or does his Olympic production and energy for closing a Hall of Fame career in style merit a bump in minutes?
"Tough question," said
"Darling of the Olympics. MVP, chosen by the media. He did everything really good. I was really happy for him."
That falls short of any firm commitment on Selanne, who is scheduled to maintain his routine of skipping one game of the Ducks' four back-to-back contests remaining.
Selanne deferred to Boudreau, but made it clear he's up to the challenge of more ice time and responsibility, such as joining a power-play unit.
The Olympic success, starring on Finland's first line, has "really given me more confidence and passion," Selanne said. "Obviously, my role was different there than here, and that helped. Sometimes you need that extra boost somewhere.
"I don't know what [Boudreau's] going to talk about, but nobody's bigger than the game and once you start asking for things you can't control … I'm at the point in my career, I have this last push to win, and whatever role is available, I'm willing to take it."
Asked how he'd handle himself if he were coach, Selanne said, "I don't want to answer, don't want to get in trouble, can't control that. I've got to respect that.
"Everyone wants to play as much as they can. The more you play, the better you play. When the minutes go down, it's harder to succeed. But on a team that wins, with great players like we have, some guys just have to be proud, do their job as well as they can. And that's pretty much where I am.
"But if someone gives me more responsibilities, I'm more than happy to take it."
Sidelined before the break by injuries, Ducks center
Goalie Viktor Fasth, out since mid-November with a strained abdominal muscle, had 22 saves in a win for minor league Norfolk on Wednesday and can play up to two more games for conditioning purposes before being recalled.
Boudreau said he's not ready to set fixed lines, something he will do in the season's late-going. He estimated that move will take place in the final "10, 15 games."
He was impressed with the team's work, as it resumes play with an NHL-best 41-14-5 record.
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