Saying good-bye to amazing players is never an easy task, but when it comes to franchise players like Teemu Selanne, it’s something that is almost unfathomable to Anaheim fans.
As difficult as watching Scott Neidermayer hang up the skates was last summer, losing No. 8 would be news that would shake the franchise to its core.
Ducks fans want to see Selanne back in the familiar Anaheim sweater next season. Here is my list of five reasons why Teemu needs to play next year.
Teemu Selanne has always been well known for a few unparalleled assets including his speed, his scoring touch, and his hockey sense. The “Finnish Flash” is turning 41-years-old this offseason, but none of these points, which make Selanne a powerhouse, have even started to be sacrificed.
The Flash is still speedier than ever, out-skating players half his age, and he clearly knows where to be considering he had 80 points last season alone, 31 of which were goals. Teemu still has everything needed to keep a player successful, so hopefully this wasn’t his last season playing.
Despite missing nine or more games in each of the last three seasons, Selanne has scored 14 or more powerplay goals in each season. When you have a veteran forward who is such a powerful sniper, he is often a central piece that anchors a powerplay unit.
Selanne has proven his usefulness in the extra-man situation considering he has both a rocket of a shot and unmatched accuracy. Teemu knows when and how to pull the trigger in order to find the net behind opposing goalies, and that talent alone makes him lethal on the powerplay.
When a player spends 12 of his 18 seasons with one team, fans naturally grow attached and expect to see that player game after game. And when you have a player like Selanne on a team for so long, you become accustomed to celebrating the many goals that come off of his stick.
Teemu has topped the 80-point threshold seven times in a Ducks jersey and has broken the 100-point barrier twice. When you have a player who is so dedicated to the game and the team he is on, he brings a different level of excitement and passion to every game he dresses for.
Age always has the connotation of being a curse, however, when you discuss experience it becomes a different story. For a team, such as Anaheim, who have nine players who are 25 years or younger, the veteran levels of experience that Teemu Selanne brings with him is perfect for their roster.
After Neidermayer retired, the responsibility of helping the young stars mature by taking them under his wing fell to Teemu Selanne. If Anaheim’s famed 40-year-old retired, it would negatively influence the younger talent that are working their way into Ducks’ uniforms.
When you look at records and all-time lists for points and goals, Teemu Selanne’s name is pretty consistently present, even posting averages of goals per game that rival players like Ovechkin, Crosby and Kovalchuk, who all have the advantage of youth to hold over Teemu.
Selanne currently holds the record for points and goals by a rookie and is comfortably seated in 14th overall in the all-time regular season goals list with 637, putting him in range to jump a few ranks if he plays another 30 or more goal season.
They always say records are made to be broken, and while some seem out of reach, the least Teemu can do is dive into top 10 lists of all-time leaders.
After 18 seasons in the NHL, Teemu Selanne has earned an etching of his name onto the Stanley Cup just once. Considering the Stanley cup is seen as one of the most unique, and arguably most difficult trophies to win, there doesn’t seem any reason for Selanne not to take another season to fight for a second championship title.
The “Finnish Flash” clearly still has so much power and dedication to the sport of hockey. His talent has yet to start dwindling, and because of that he deserves another run for the Cup.