Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau’s decisions to pull Teemu Selanne from Game 3 after Dallas’ third goal, then make the 43-year-old retiring veteran a healthy scratch in Game 4 didn’t fly with Selanne’s 18-year-old son, Eemil.
After hearing his dad was to be scratched in favor of 21-year-old Emerson Etem on Wednesday, the younger Selanne posted this on his Twitter account that afternoon: “ROSTER MOVE: Bruce Boudreau has been reassigned to Norfolk Admirals (AHL).”
The elder Selanne not only had to deal with the professional disappointment but handle a family matter too.
“Just like a box of chocolates ... you never know,” Teemu Selanne said Thursday. “When I heard, I said, ‘Just take it out.’ I thought it was funny. I don’t tweet, not into Facebook.
“He sticks up for his dad, that’s what families do.”
Selanne said he had a feeling he was in danger of being scratched after being on the ice for the third Game 3 goal, admitting “accidents happen.”
“It’s over, I don’t even want to talk about the whole thing,” Selanne said. “I told Bruce it’s a new day, there’s no hard feelings, we go from there. It’s playoff time. I don’t want to think about negative energy.”
Boudreau said he was pleased with the energy of the young line of Etem (five shots in 12 minutes, 32 seconds), Devante Smith-Pelly and Rickard Rakell, and understands the widespread allegiance to the popular Selanne.
“I knew exactly what it was going into it, I knew the reaction, and if I was a fan, I’d probably be upset, too,” Boudreau said after Wednesday’s game.
“He’s an icon, one of the greatest players ever. I just thought we’d need a physical player along the boards a little bit more. Emerson fits that bill, so the decision was made. As much as we all love him and what he’s done for us, you’ve got to think of the team and what it needs to win at that specific moment. … You’ve got to do what you think is the right thing to do for the team.”
Selanne said he vows not to complain with the playoffs at hand.
“It’s not about me, I do my job whatever it is,” Selanne said, noting he “absolutely” wants to play as the stakes increase. “I’d play 30 minutes....
“I’m relaxed. I haven’t changed. It’s not all roses. It’s grinding time. I want to, for sure [play].”