Gotta give Teemu Selanne credit: The man knows how to sell a book.
The first excerpts from his autobiography Teemu were posted online on Thursday morning by Finnish journalist Juha Hiitelä and include some pointed comments about one of Selanne's former coaches.
In fact, he blames the Ducks' Bruce Boudreau for ending his career.
”You are as good as your coach wants you to be," the 44-year-old Selanne wrote. "If we had any other coach, I’d still be playing.”
He said he had doubts last summer about re-signing with Anaheim because of Boudreau, and considered playing for the Kings or the Jets. He ultimately agreed to play one more season after Boudreau assured him of a more prominent role.
"Boudreau promised [before the season] that I would play on the first power play unit and second power play unit and average 15 minutes of ice time. He even said he wants to see me score my 700th goal. The season started well, but after that my time on ice declined, just like the previous year. He didn’t keep any of his promises."
Selanne was disappointed that he didn't get any support from the team's leadership as he was being relegated to a minor role.
”I’m surprised that [Ryan] Getzlaf didn’t react in any way to that situation," he wrote. "I told him several times that he’s the captain, he should take care of the situation. When we played together on the power play, we’ve been top-three [in the league]."
Hiitelä also related one anecdote that captured Teemu's frustration after being benched by Boudreau for Game 4 of the Ducks' first round series against the Stars in the 2014 playoffs.
"I waited after everyone else had left the ice and skated to Boudreau … I yelled at him right to his face. I asked what he has against me. I told him that since he became our coach he has not respected me one bit. 'You never put me on ice when we play 5-on-3 or 4-on-4 or when we are one goal behind near the end of the game. Be honest for one time and answer!' He just stammered that those decisions were not his alone and it was a group decision. I ask which group and he said GM and scouts. I yelled at him, 'Wow, what kind of a coach you are if you don’t even decide the lineup?' He tried to skate away but I wasn’t finished. I told Boudreau if you ever want to win something in the playoffs, you’re going to need me. Nobody else wants to win as much as me. It felt really good."
Interestingly, he later described Boudreau as "a nice man."
"We just had very different view of what kind of player I am."
Teemu is on sale now in Finland. Co-author Ari Mennander (full disclosure: he and I used to work together) says an English-language version will be available some time next year.