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Teemu Selanne considers return, unless the Ducks go in 'rebuild' mode

Jun 16, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

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selannehappy.jpgYear after year, it seems like the Anaheim Ducks face questions about the possible retirement of Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer. This time around, it sounds like Selanne will wait on the Ducks’ decisions.

A Finnish daily newspaper reports that the all-time goal scoring leader among Finnish-born hockey players wants to make sure that the Ducks will be a contender before he commits to returning for Anaheim.

Selanne, who turns 40 early next month, said that his continuing with the team is likely “If Anaheim decides that is still wants to win next season and if it wants to keep the team more or less the same.”

Selanne believes that the situation is very similar to that of his fellow countryman Saku Koivu, 35, who is still without a contract. The ball – or the puck – is in the team’s court so to speak.

“Saku, too, is in a situation where he wants to continue to play in a winning team”, Selanne commented about his teammate to the Turku-based newspaper.

“The Finnish Flash” has had an outstanding – in many ways underrated – career, but as the article states, he’s 40 years old. While retirement considerations shortened at least one of his seasons, it’s still telling that he only played 26, 65 and 54 games in the last three years.

Negatives aside, it’s obvious that Selanne can still score goals. Despite only playing 54 games, he averaged exactly a goal every other game with 27 overall. Now, it might be much to say that he’d be a 40-goal scorer again if he played in 82 games, but few players can produce on the powerplay like him, even at 40.

The Ducks are likely to re-sign Bobby Ryan this off-season, giving the team an excellent core of forwards (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan) plus a solid goalie in Jonas Hiller. I don’t see why the Ducks couldn’t give it one more run with a similar roster, though, at least if Niedermayer, Selanne and Koivu are reasonably affordable. Then again, I could also understand if the team that missed the playoffs and barely made them during the 2008-09 season might want to move on.

It might sound like a broken record, but Selanne’s situation will be interesting to watch this summer. We’ll update you once we learn more (although in cases of retirement, sometimes that might not happen until the season starts).

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner)

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