Teemu Selanne tells Ducks he will play again next season
Teemu Selanne’s most-excellent, age-defying adventure was officially renewed for another installment.
The forward who led the Ducks in scoring last season with 66 points, the man who turned 42 on July 3, let Anaheim know Thursday that he had decided to come back.
Selanne, who is poised for his 20th NHL season, will make $4.5 million with the one-year extension, slipping neatly into the pay structure for the 40-something crowd.
Selanne said there was some unfinished business from last season. The Ducks struggled through a disappointing season that included a coaching change and missing the playoffs.
“I still feel that I have something to give and that I just feel I can play at this high level,” Selanne said on a conference call while vacationing in Italy. “And even with the tough first half we had last year, I still enjoyed the game so much. So that’s why I knew way earlier than normal that I wanted to play again.
"… Age is a funny thing. A lot of times, I don’t feel 42 right now. After all, it’s just numbers and it all depends how good you feel, how healthy you are and how much passion you have for the game.”
He saw reasons for encouragement when Bruce Boudreau took the coaching reins from Randy Carlyle in late November. The Ducks were 27-23-8 under Boudreau, and Selanne discussed that improvement with team officials during the off-season.
“When Bruce joined the team, it wasn’t a very easy situation,” Selanne said. “The way he handled the whole situation and how he took the team over, it was unbelievable. ... I’m very happy to see how much players like him and how much they are excited to play for him. I think it affected my decision too.”
Selanne’s teammates celebrated on Twitter, including Devante Smith-Pelly (@smithpelly23) who tweeted: “One more year! One more year!”
Selanne’s kid-like joy at playing has not abated. He played all 82 games last season and is the 19th-leading scorer in NHL history. He is 12th all-time in goals scored, two behind Jaromir Jagr of the Dallas Stars.
Selanne has four children, a girl and three boys, the oldest a son (16). They were all on hand when Selanne returned to Winnipeg last season with the Ducks, coming back to where he started his NHL career.
In another move, the Ducks reached an agreement with forward Nick Bonino, who avoided salary arbitration. His two-year contract is worth $700,000 per year and it is a one-way deal.
•The biggest free agent still on the market is Coyotes forward Shane Doan, who is waiting for some clarity on the ownership situation in Phoenix. He is looking for more than a one-year deal and the Kings were able to comply in their offer to him this week. At least two other teams have made offers, San Jose and Vancouver, according to Phoenix radio talk show host John Gambadoro.
•Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier said in an interview with TVA Sports that he is expecting to be traded before training camp, but that might be overly hopeful considering his low trade value based on limited playing time.
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