Teemu Selanne and 5 Veterans Who Could Lose Their Final Season to the Lockout
With the November 30th deadline to cut more games looming, fans are waiting for some resolution to the lockout that has wiped out over 300 games (Herald Sun).
A worst-case scenario would be that the owners vote to cancel the entire 2012-13 season if the two sides are not close to a deal by the 30th.
If this occurs, for some players it could mean more than a lost season and some lost paychecks.
At the end of last season, there was a lot of speculation surrounding future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne’s future. The fans in Anaheim were happy when he signed on for one more season.
With the lockout in full force and the future of the season in potential peril, Teemu Selanne may have already played his final game in the NHL.
In the slides that follow, we look at Teemu and five other players who may retire in the summer and lose their final season to this lockout.
Honorable Mention: Shane Doan
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At 36, Shane Doan is the youngest player on this list. He has played his entire career for the original Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes organization.
During the offseason, Doan wanted some assurance of stability in Phoenix before re-signing a four-year deal with the club.
Even if this season is completely lost, Doan will have three more seasons to play before he reaches 40, but as he advances in age his playing time will decrease.
There have been many players over the years who have retired after 40 and there is no reason Shane Doan will not be among them. Yet if the lockout wipes out this season, it may be enough for Doan to hang up his skates.
Doan has won the Stafford Smythe Memorial and the King Clancy Memorial trophies, as well as the Mark Messier Leadership award in his career. Just shy of 1,200 games, Doan has scored 318 goals with 470 assists.
The right winger helped lead the Phoenix Coyotes to the Western Conference Finals last season, making it the most successful playoff run in his career.
Shane Doan may have a few more seasons left in the tank, but as he gets older the retirement question will continue to follow him around.
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At 43 years old, Dwayne Roloson is the oldest active player currently in the NHL. Though his contract with Tampa Bay expired this past summer, he has yet to announce his intent to retire.
A journeyman of the NHL, Roloson has been in goal for six different NHL clubs, his best season for a single team came with the Minnesota Wild during the 2003-04, where he posted a 1.88 Goals Against and had a .933 Save Percentage.
It was his playoff run in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Lightning that showed what Roloson was made of. During that run he became the oldest goaltender to post a shutout in a Game 7 during the first round.
Roloson is a winner of the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award for his season with the Wild in 2003-04. While he may not have won a Stanley Cup, he is still a distinguished netminder.
Last season with Tampa Bay, Roloson posted the second worst save percentage in his career with a .886.
Roloson may not have signed a contract to play even if this season is saved, but the fact that he has not announced his retirement shows that he is hoping for one more season.
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Left Winger Ray Whitney has joined the small group of NHL players still active in their 40s, having turned 40 in May.
During his 17-year career, Whitney has played for a total of seven different NHL teams. The contract he signed this offseason would make Dallas No. 8.
Whitney was a member of the 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes, aiding them in winning the Stanley Cup.
He's one of the more underrated players in the NHL, as he is not talked about in the same regards as some of the superstar players. His career stats tell another story.
In 1,229 regular-season games Whitney has posted 365 goals and 638 assists, making him one of the NHL greats.
Whitney has had on average between 50-80 points for the season, making him one of the more reliable producers in the NHL.
As with the others on this list, age is starting to catch up with Ray Whitney. His 77 points last season show that he still has gas in the tank, though a lost season may have him considering retirement.
Not too much changed for netminder Tim Thomas due to the lockout. The 38-year-old goalie had previously stated he was taking this season off.
Thomas came back from surgery in the 2010 offseason to break the single-season save percentage record as he led the Bruins to their first Cup appearance since 1990.
After his Game 7 shutout against Vancouver to secure the Stanley Cup, Tim Thomas became the oldest recipient of the Conn Smythe award.
One year later, Thomas was mired in controversy. From not meeting the President due to political reasons to the Bruins' early exit from last year's postseason, Thomas went from being the beloved goaltender in Boston to the butt of the joke and ridicule around the city. The netminder stated he would take off the final year of his contract with the Bruins.
There had been the potential that Thomas may return either to Boston or another team for next season, but with the lockout in effect now may be the best time for Thomas to retire.
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His stint with the Flyers proved that even at his age, he was still among the NHL elite. Jagr turned 40 during his one-year deal in Philadelphia and managed to post a total of 54 points.
In the offseason, Jagr took the leap to the Western Conference and signed a one-year deal with Dallas for $4.5 million (NHL.com).
In his 18 seasons with the NHL, Jagr has totaled 665 goals and 988 assists; he has also won a number of awards and trophies. Jagr is a member of the exclusive Triple Gold Club.
This season with Dallas would have been the first time in Jagr’s career that he played for a Western team, giving the fans in the West more opportunity to see this future legend of the game play.
If the lockout does wipe out another season, it could be that Jagr’s last game in the NHL would have been in a Flyers jersey.
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Martin Brodeur may very well be the greatest goalie to ever play the game. Last season at the age of 40, he led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals for the fifth time in his career.
Brodeur has helped the Devils make the postseason in all but two seasons of his 21-year career.
The list of awards that grace Martin Brodeur’s shelf is long and impressive; it includes three Stanley Cups and four Vezina trophies.
Brodeur holds many goaltending records, including career regular-season victories at 656, and the youngest goalie to reach the 300, 400 and 500 career wins.
Lastly, Brodeur is also one of two goalies to have a goal in both the regular season and the playoffs.
This offseason Brodeur surprised many when he hired an agent; some assumed he would test free agency or retire. He signed a two-year deal to return to New Jersey.
For Brodeur, it is only a matter of time when he announces that his iconic career has finally come to an end.
We can only hope that Brodeur gets at least one more season between the pipes for the Devils, and a send-off worthy of a future Hall of Famer.
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The winger who is known around the world as "The Finnish Flash," has been exciting fans with his skills on the ice since before many of this year's draft picks were even born.
Drafted 10th overall by the original incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets back in 1988, Teemu Selanne has been amazing fans since his first season in the NHL where he shattered the previous record for most goals in a rookie season with 76.
During his 21-season tenure, Selanne has posted 663 goals and 743 assists.
At 42, Selanne has had an illustrious career, winning the Calder Memorial, Molson Cup, Maurice Richard and the Bill Masterson Memorial trophies along with his Stanley Cup title in 2007.
Selanne has played through the two previous lockouts in his career, making this lockout just another one to get through.
The difference with this lockout is that many suspect that Selanne is getting ready to retire. It would be a shame not only for Selanne, but for his fans as well if the entire season is lost and he ends up hanging up his skates.