Teemu Selanne: What the Anaheim Ducks Can Expect from His 20th Season
The guy just never quits. Teemu Selanne is back for one more season with the Anaheim Ducks, and there's no question among anyone who's been paying attention the last few years that he has more than what it takes to contribute in a big way.
He might be single-handedly keeping the "rebuilding" label off of the Anaheim franchise. Besides that, it's just not Ducks hockey without Selanne on board.
So what can we expect from the Finnish Flash in his 20th season?
Perhaps he has slowed down a bit, and we shouldn't be counting on him to lead the Ducks in scoring again. However, there is still plenty that Teemu brings to the table.
I'll lay it all out for Ducks fans to look forward to.
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Selanne is very dangerous on the power play and is particularly valuable to have in this regard. It has become his specialty.
We can expect him to be out there on the first Anaheim power-play unit almost every time they take the ice.
He'll get his fair share of points, just due to the fact that the Ducks power play (though they underperformed last year) is very talented and set for a rebound season.
Bruce Boudreau to Roll Three Scoring Lines
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The Ducks flirted with the idea of three scoring lines last year but never fully implemented the idea.
Though Anaheim still has some roster spots to fill and likely isn't done in free agency, it has the make of a team with enough offense to roll three scoring lines instead of just two.
Having Selanne means that he and Saku Koivu will be able to anchor one of those three lines.
Selanne Will Not Lead the Team in Scoring
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This isn't so much a reflection on the prediction that Selanne's point totals will decrease but rather that the totals of those around him will increase.
The fact of the matter is that 66 points should not be enough to lead a team in scoring—especially a team that includes the likes of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. Heck, had it been a year earlier, Lubomir Visnovsky would have eclipsed Selanne's 66 points.
We can expect Selanne to be around the 40- or 50-point mark, with most of his work getting done on the power play. However, we should also expect a better showing from Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan in 2012-13.
A Better Supporting Cast and at Least a Few Playoff Games
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Expect Selanne to have a lot more help this year, as the Ducks should be a much better and more consistent team with a full year under the coaching of Bruce Boudreau.
Part of what made Selanne such a huge factor for the Ducks last year was the poor quality of play around him. Goodness, I remember watching some games where I felt like he was the only guy who showed up to play.
Boudreau seemed to put a stop to that, and as a result, Anaheim had a much better second half. If the Ducks perform as well as they did during that second-half surge for the entire 2012-13 season, we'll likely see Selanne in a few more playoff games before it's all said and done.
For This Year to Be His Last
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I've been a Selanne fan for as long as I can remember, and it makes this all the more difficult to say, but I believe that this will be his last season.
Selanne will turn 43 before this coming season is over, and I don't see him coming back for a season that would span his 44th year of life.
Now, of course, I could be wrong, but I think it's safe to expect that this season is the last one where we'll get to see Teemu on the ice.
It's very likely he'll have a position open to him in the Ducks organization, which I think is only appropriate considering his dedication to the Anaheim fans and their community.
I'm grateful we get to see him play for one more year, and I tip my hat to one of the classiest guys hockey has ever known.