NHL Free Agency: Why Teemu Selanne Should and Shouldn't Sign with Winnipeg

Anthony CapocciContributor IApril 2, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 31:  Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on March 31, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The clock is ticking on Teemu Selanne’s career.

Selanne is a free agent after the season, and is still unsure whether or not he will play for another year or retire.

Regardless, the time is running out for the seemingly ageless Selanne, who turns 42 in July.

Selanne hasn’t been too outspoken about his future, but early speculation is that he will either stay with his current team, the Anaheim Ducks, or retire.

Stunningly enough, Selanne hasn’t hit a wall. For someone his age, it’s hard to believe that he still has the ability to produce at the level he does.

The NHL veteran and future hall of famer has played in over 1300 games throughout his career, and has accumulated just over 1400 points.

He’s left the NHL with many memorable moments in his career, including his unbelievable rookie season where he scored 76 goals.

Selanne will be an NHL icon for years.

And one city where he’ll always be remembered as an icon is Winnipeg.

A long, long time ago before Teemu Selanne was a household name, the Winnipeg Jets drafted him into the NHL. He spent four seasons in Winnipeg and quickly became a fan favorite.

WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 17: Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks looks up and reacts to a video tribute to him during a game against the Winnipeg Jets in NHL action at the MTS Centre on December 17, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This is the fir
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

It was sort of a short-term relationship though. When the Winnipeg franchise was jettisoned to Phoenix, Selanne moved on to Anaheim.

And when the Jets returned this season, Selanne also made his return to Winnipeg for one of the most anticipated games of the season. This time, however, Selanne returned as an opponent.

The fans of Winnipeg, though, cheered Selanne as if he was still one of their own… and maybe he is.

With numerous standing ovations, cheers and chants, the fans of Winnipeg showed Selanne why he will always be one of their own.

And so there’s one question that’s on everyone’s mind.

It was on everyone’s mind before he returned to Winnipeg, during the game in which he returned, when he left Winnipeg back in December and still now, today.

What if Teemu Selanne returned to play for Winnipeg for one last season?

It would be a dream come true for the many Jets fans that would still like to see him return to Winnipeg.

I, however, haven’t sided either way. It would be a storybook tale if Selanne returned to the Jets, but I don’t have the same passion for him as most Jets fans, simply because I wasn’t a fan of the old Jets franchise.

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 06:  Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks hoists the Stanley Cup after his team's victory over the Ottawa Senators 6-2 during Game Five of the n June 6, 2007 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Instead of picking a side, I’m going to look and the pros and cons of the situation. I’ll argue why Selanne should sign with Winnipeg and why he shouldn’t.


Why Teemu Selanne Should Not Sign With Winnipeg

It’s simple—he likes where he is and there is no reason for him to change that.

Selanne has been outspoken about how much he and his family like Anaheim. I don’t see why he would change that now to re-join a city where he only spent four seasons.

Selanne has spent 13 seasons with the Ducks. He’s won a Cup with them. There’s no reason for him to not finish his career out in Anaheim.

And it’s not like the Jets are a contender. If Selanne wanted to play for another season, I'm sure he would want an opportunity at another Stanley Cup.

There simply aren’t any incentives for Selanne to join the Jets. Not this late in his career.

Why Teemu Selanne Should Sign With Winnipeg

Teemu Selanne should end his career where he began it. It’s storybook. It would please the fans that still treat him as one of their own.

WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 17: A fan sign for Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks in a game against the Winnipeg Jets in NHL action at the MTS Centre on December 17, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This is the first time Selanne has returned to pla
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Put all the fan favoritism aside for a moment. We know what the fans want.

What do the Jets want? What would this move do for the Jets?

It would give the Jets a veteran presence in the locker room, one that can help with a playoff run.

A presence like Selanne's would be felt throughout the locker room. The younger players would benefit off of his experience and knowledge.

And a one-year contract wouldn't hurt the Jets as far as the salary cap goes.

Signing Selanne wouldn't hurt the Jets at all. The question is, would they even pursue him?


Regardless, the decision would be up to Selanne and whether or not he would even want to return.

It would make for one great story though.