Teemu Selanne with the Ducks last season. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
The Ducks got the news they’ve been waiting for since the regular season ended in April.
Teemu Selanne is coming back.
It was expected but certainly not a lock. How can it be at this stage of his career? He turned 42 on July 3 and this will be his 20th NHL season.
"I still feel I can play at a high level," Selanne said. "As I always say, this is my happy place and I can’t wait to get back on the ice in front of our great fans."
His one-year deal is worth $4.5 million.
"While I’m still amazed by his speed and skill level, it’s Teemu’s love for the game and his teammates that make him so special," said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray said in a statement on Thursday. "Anaheim is where he belongs."
Selanne was a rare bright spot in what was a disappointing season for the Ducks. He led the team in scoring with 66 points and was selected to play in the All-Star game but stepped aside for teammate Corey Perry.
He saw reasons for encouragement when Bruce Boudreau took over the coaching reins from Randy Carlyle in late November. The Ducks went 27-23-8 under Boudreau. Selanne has been talking with team officials during the off-season and remained in contact with his close friend and teammate Saku Koivu, who signed a one-year contract extension in May.
Previously, Selanne was asked what he was thinking as he skated off the ice when the Ducks completed their season in Calgary.
"Obviously, there's a lot of question marks there," he said in an April interview. "It comes automatically, the feeling, 'Is this over right now?' Mixed feelings. You still want to be in the playoffs and not finish the season there. The last home game I felt there was still a lot of desire to play."
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