Dec. 17, 2011 was a big day for the new Winnipeg Jets franchise.
For the first time in 15 years, Teemu Selanne was back on the ice, in Winnipeg and in a NHL game. The crowd at the MTS Centre showered him with affection all night long.
As this rebirth of the Jets continues, wouldn’t the icing on the cake be seeing Selanne skating around in a new Jets sweater? Seeing him play for Winnipeg one last time would be great.
It is not going to happen though.
Despite how badly a large section of Winnipeg fans want to see the Jets pick him up before the trade deadline in February, it would not be a wise move.
On some level, it does make sense. The Jets are desperate to add scoring up front and while they have stumbled some the last month, they still have a shot at making the playoffs. So, from a pure team aspect, he could help.
That’s as far as the logic flows.
Selanne, despite his advanced age, has shown that he still has plenty of game left in his bag and would be an attractive piece to many teams. Because of that, the Jets would have to give something up. That “something” would most likely be someone young and full of potential.
The Jets are a team loaded with young players that should make them contenders in a couple of short years.
Does it make sense to part with a young player to get Selanne for a handful of games at the end of the season?
A few games where the playoffs are not a sure thing?
Sentimentality and jersey sales would improve, but that is not how winning franchises operate. The Jets should not break up their young core to just barely make the playoffs this year.
Do want the Jets to pick up Selanne?
Furthermore, would the Ducks make a deal at this point and does Selanne want out?
The Ducks have struggled this season, but have rebounded somewhat and sit 10 points away from a playoff spot of their own. They are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and holding onto Selanne may give them a shot at sneaking into the playoffs.
He is leading the Ducks in scoring with 47 points in 50 games, which is pretty impressive. For the Jets, it means that they are not going to just give him away either.
Selanne has made it pretty clear that he loves playing in Anaheim, his family is happy there, and he is not interested in a trade. While Winnipeg would be a place you would imagine he would waive his no-movement clause for, he might also have eyes on another Stanley Cup run.
If you were Teemu Selanne and had one last season left in you what would be important to you?
Waiving your hands to the crowd in Winnipeg, staying where you and your family are comfortable, or going to a team that is pushing for a Stanley Cup victory?
The Jets should be third on that list, which makes the likelihood of him ending up in Winnipeg a long shot.
Instead, the Jets need to get healthy, find a way to bolster their play in their own end and figure out what is going on with Evander Kane.
Teemu Selanne is not going to help with any of those issues.