Teemu Selanne is already 42 years old, yet he is set to play one more year in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks. After several years of contemplating retirement, Selanne has come to the same decision he's been coming to since the close of the Ducks' Stanley Cup winning season of 2006-2007.
He's still got some gas left in the tank.
However, what can we expect Selanne to do if this entire season is wiped out due to a lockout?
The possibility is real, and with every passing day, the likelihood of the season being cancelled is increasing. If there were to be a year-long recess for the all NHL players, what would Selanne decide at this time next year?
Selanne is a family man. Married and a father of four children, he would no doubt be wanted at home and is getting to the point in life where he would consider it more important to attend his kids' hockey games as opposed to playing in his own.
His age would obviously be another factor, as he'll be 43 at this time next year, and would be closing in on Chris Chelios territory should he decide to stick around.
Another factor to consider is that Selanne has continued to play for as long as he has, not just because he still can, but because he believes that the Ducks are a solid team that can still contend in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for Selanne, he's been wrong about that two of the last three years, as the Ducks have only been able to manage one playoff appearance during that time span.
Whether or not Selanne thinks that the Ducks can compete isn't discernible outside of Selanne's own mind. Of course he's going to say that the team he plays for "has what it takes" in interviews, but would he really believe that next year? We may never know.
Considering Selanne's age, family situation and character, I would personally be very surprised to see him come back and play hockey in the NHL at 43 years old.
He knows the Ducks have a lot of possible second- and third-line talent in their farm system, and he'll be mindful of making room for them. The better scenario for everyone is that we get to have an NHL season now, where we already know Selanne would be set to play one more year and hopefully go out in a blaze of glory.
As if hockey fans needed another reason to hope that we don't miss out on the 2012-2013 NHL season.