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Selanne and Niedermayer get deadline

May 22, 2008|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Ducks General Manager Brian Burke says he has given Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne until next month's NHL entry draft to inform the club of their intentions to either play in 2008-09 or retire.

Burke says he has spoken with both players, including a recent face-to-face meeting with Niedermayer, and let them know that they won't be afforded the luxury of rejoining the Ducks midway through the season, as they did in 2007-08.

The draft is June 20-21 in Ottawa. Niedermayer has the final year of his four-year, $27-million contract remaining, and Selanne, who is playing on year-to-year contracts at this stage of his career, can be a free agent on July 1 but doesn't figure to play anywhere but Anaheim if he returns.

"I did sit down with Scotty and he agreed that it made sense," Burke said of the draft-day deadline. "I said, 'We did it your way last year and that was fine. This time around, we want to know something.' We told them we need to know before the draft so we can plan accordingly.

"Teemu's situation is different because he can be a free agent," Burke added. "He's free to blow through any deadline."

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eric.stephens@latimes.com

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