Questions are all that remain in the empty Ducks locker room at Honda Center. Questions about Brian Burke going to Toronto, why the team did so poorly in its sixth game series against the Dallas Stars, and on the future of Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer with the Anaheim Ducks.
After both men retired on a temporary basis, only to return during different times of the season, both men played an ever important role for the team. Niedermayer was stability on a very talented blue line and Selanne was basically a point a game player after he made his return. The team mates have already indicated they are in the same jam this summer, as they prepare to decide on retirement or a return to the Ducks locker room next season.
“I don’t know about that yet,” said the 37-year-old Selanne, who signed a one-year contract and rejoined the team in February. He had 12 goals and 11 assists in 26 regular season games and added two more in the playoffs. “I was very happy to be back this season and I enjoyed coming here every day. I’ll just relax and think about things more a little later. But let’s see.”
Niedermayer said he is basically in the same place as Selanne regarding a decision on a possible return.
“I haven’t really put anymore thought into it,” he said. “I was asked a little bit over the last few days about that. I made the commitment this year. I was excited to come back. I truly enjoyed it, except for the outcome. I obviously will have to talk to different people and take it from there.”
Selanne said he has no plans to keep the Ducks waiting on his decision like he did in the wake of last year’s championship, nor come back for anything less than a full season.
“There is no way I’m going to do next year the same thing I did this year,” Selanne said I’m going to play the whole year, or I’m not going to play at all.”
Like Niedermayer, Selanne wouldn’t put a deadline on his decision, but was reasonably certain it would come before July 1, the start of the NHL free agency period.
“I don’t really have a timetable, but I think it’s going to come before July 1,” Selanne said. “I think that’s the best thing for everybody. Right now I’m just going to relax and see what happens.”
For the Ducks, the July 1 date cannot come quick enough. Between now and then, all that can be done is speculation regarding the major questions floating throughout the Los Angeles area. Come July, all Ducks fans will know the future of the team, and the future plans of their beloved superstars.