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Selanne still isn't sure on retiring

DUCKS REPORT

September 15, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Appearing fit and trim, Teemu Selanne looked as if he could fit right in with all the other Ducks skating around Anaheim Ice during training camp Friday.

Whether he wants to be on the ice with them is the central question for the 37-year-old Selanne, who had nothing definitive to add when he met with a small group of reporters. The only thing that is clear: He is still considering retirement.

"The decision is way harder than I thought," Selanne said. "I thought it was going to be an easy decision and just move on. Obviously everything has just been unbelievable here. When you have played something since you were 6 years old. . . . Now I know how players say how hard it is to retire.

"Part of me wants to play and the other part, right now, is not ready to do what it takes."

Selanne reached the pinnacle of his long career when the Ducks defeated the Ottawa Senators to win the Stanley Cup -- the only thing missing on an accomplished resume that includes 540 goals.

An unrestricted free agent, he reiterated that the Ducks would be the only team he plays for.

"I'm guessing I'm going to see how I feel when the season starts and I'm watching the games," he said. "By then, I'll know for sure whether I want to go back and play again."

The Ducks will play three exhibition games in three nights beginning with tonight's rematch against the Kings at Staples Center. Coach Randy Carlyle hasn't yet made roster cuts, but there will be some at camp who won't get a shot at one of the few spots available.

"Not everybody is going to be afforded the chance to play an exhibition game," Carlyle said. "That's the way training camp goes. That's when coaches have to be selfish. Our focus has to be in our preparation for opening the season.

"There's always somebody on the outside looking in, and that's the unfortunate part about it."

After the team's final intrasquad scrimmage, Carlyle chose not to put the players through their usual conditioning skate, noting that this is the time in camp when they begin to get used to the strenuous work.

"We didn't skate after because of guys coming up with sore groins and muscle aches," he said. "We have to be smart about it. We have to be prepared to start a preseason schedule that's going to become pretty hectic."

Carlyle on the Ducks' 5-4 loss to the Kings: "I think it's proof that we have a long way to go."

Last year the Ducks lost, 7-1, to their rivals at home.

--

eric.stephens@latimes.com

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